Use of human CD4 transgenic mice for studying immunogenicity of HIV-1 envelope protein gp120

J. Seagal, E. Spectorman, J. M. Gershoni, G. F. Denisova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV-1 envelope protein, gp120, is a major immunogenic protein of the AIDS virus. A specific feature of this protein is its interaction with the receptor protein, human CD4, an important component of the immune system. This interaction might affect the immunogenic properties of the gp120 and modulate the immune response towards HIV. To test this hypothesis we used human CD4-transgenic mice for immunization with gp120. The dynamics of the immune response towards gp120, CD4 and other proteins was followed. The results show that the primary immune response to gp120 (two weeks) developed somewhat faster in CD4-transgenic mice versus non-transgenic mice. Both animals, however, ultimately mounted the same level of response over time. The primary immune response to gp120 when complexed with soluble CD4 before the immunization, developed similarly in both groups. The secondary immune response was earlier and markedly stronger in non-transgenic mice compared with the transgenic mice where a less efficient memory response to gp120 was observed. The ability of gp120 to directly interact with CD4+ helper lymphocytes appears to affect the humoral response towards this antigen. Moreover, these effects illustrate how viral modulation of these cells may in turn lead to potentially different states of immunological equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316382
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • AIDS
  • CD4 receptor
  • Humoral immune response
  • Immunogenicity
  • T-helper cells
  • Transgenic


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