Share this article on:

Cytokine and gene transcription profiles of immune responses elicited by HIV lipopeptide vaccine in HIV-negative volunteers

Richert, Lauraa,b,*; Hue, Sophiec,d,e,f,*; Hocini, Hakimc,f; Raimbault, Mathieua,b; Lacabaratz, Christinec,d,f; Surenaud, Mathieuc,f; Wiedemann, Auréliec,d,f; Tisserand, Pascalinec,f; Durier, Christineg; Salmon, Dominiqueh; Lelièvre, Jean-Danielc,d,f,i; Chêne, Genevièvea,b,j; Thiébaut, Rodolphea,b,*; Lévy, Yvesc,d,f,i,*for the ANRS Vaccine NetworkVaccine Research Institute

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835f5b60
Clinical Science

Objective: To dissect the biological mechanisms involved in the cellular responses to a candidate vaccine containing 5 HIV peptides coupled to a palmytoil tail (HIV-LIPO-5) in healthy volunteers, by using extensive immunogenicity assessments with different stimulation durations.

Design: Immunogenicity substudy of a randomized phase II prophylactic HIV vaccine trial (ANRS VAC 18).

Methods: HIV-LIPO-5 or placebo was administered at W0, W4, W12 and W24. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a subset of participants at W0 and W14 were stimulated with HIV-LIPO-5, Gag peptides contained in the vaccine and control peptides. ELISpot, lymphoproliferation, intracellular cytokine staining (ICS), cytokine multiplex and transcriptomic analyses were performed. Different time points and stimulation conditions were compared, controlling for test multiplicity.

Results: Cultured ELISpot and lymphoproliferation responses were detected at W14. Ex-vivo ICS showed mainly interleukin (IL)-2-producing cells. Secretion of interferon (IFN)-γ, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-5 and IL-13 increased significantly after culture and Gag stimulation at W14 compared to W0. Metallothionein genes were consistently overexpressed after HIV-LIPO-5 stimulation at W0 and W14. At W14, significant probes increased substantially, including IFN-γ, CXCL9, IL2RA, TNFAIP6, CCL3L1 and IL-6. Canonical pathway analyses indicated a role of interferon signalling genes in response to HIV-LIPO-5.

Conclusion: HIV-LIPO-5 vaccination elicited Th1 and Th2 memory precursor responses and a consistent modulation in gene expression. The response profile before vaccination suggests an adjuvant effect of the lipid tail of HIV-LIPO-5. Our combined immunogenicity analyses allowed to identify a specific signature profile of HIV-LIPO-5 and indicate that HIV-LIPO-5 could be further developed as a prime in heterologous prime-boost strategies.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text

aUniversity Bordeaux

bINSERM, ISPED, Centre INSERM U897-Epidemiologie-Biostatistique, Bordeaux


dUniversity Paris Est Créteil, Faculté de Médecine

eGroupe Henri-Mondor Albert-Chenevier, Immunologie biologique

fMondor Immunology Center, Créteil

gInserm SC10, Villejuif

hUniversity Paris Descartes-Hôpital Cochin, Paris

iGroupe Henri-Mondor Albert-Chenevier, Immunologie clinique, Créteil

jCHU de Bordeaux, Pole de sante publique, Bordeaux, France.

*Laura Richert, Sophie Hue, Rodolphe Thiébaut, and Yves Lévy contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Correspondence to Professor Yves Lévy, MD, PhD, Clinical immunopathology, Hôpital Henri Mondor, INSERM U955, Faculté de Médecine de Créteil, 51, Avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, F-94010 Créteil, France. Tel: +33 1 4981 2455; fax: +33 1 4981 2469; e-mail:

Received 5 September, 2012

Revised 21 November, 2012

Accepted 23 January, 2013

Preliminary results of this study were presented at the AIDS Vaccine Conference, 28 September–1 October 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (abstract P14.02), and at the AIDS Vaccine Conference, 12–15 September 2011, Bangkok, Thailand (abstract P14.07).

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.