The only clinical HIV vaccine trial to demonstrate efficacy, RV144, correlated protection with the antibodies (Abs) mediating function via the "constant" immunoglobulin region, the crystallizable fragment (Fc). These data have supported a focus on the induction of Abs by vaccines that trigger antiviral activities by relevant leukocytes via Fc receptors (FcRs). Neutrophils are phagocytes that comprise > 50% of leukocytes and display unique FcRs. We sought to compare the Ab-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) activity of human neutrophils to the commonly assayed THP-1 cell line. HIV-specific Abs were employed to elicit ADCP of beads coated with HIV envelope protein. Overall, trends were noted among neutrophil donors and the ADCP profile was different from that of THP-1 cells. mAb ELISA titers correlated with ADCP by THP-1 cells but not neutrophils. Monoclonal (m)Abs were also tested with primary monocytes. Donor-to-donor variation was high, and hindered the analysis of this dataset, but it was, in itself, an important finding. This study illustrates the concept that the assessment of FcR-mediated Ab activity with a frequently used cell line such as THP-1 is not necessarily indicative of relevant Ab functionality in vivo, and this calls for in-depth study of the properties of the HIV antibodies best-suited to eliciting antiviral activities by primary cells.
- Viral infection