This study was undertaken to analyze the specificity and neutralizing properties of cross-reactive anti-gp120 antibodies (Abs) in the sera of two human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected asymptomatic individuals. Two panels of murine monoclonal anti-idiotype Abs (anti-id MAbs) were established against cross-reactive polyclonal anti-gp120 Abs purified from HIV+ sera by sequential affinity chromatography using gp120(SF2)- and gp120(IIIB)- Sepharose columns. These panels of anti-id MAbs were then used to affinity purify idiotype-positive (Id+) anti-gp120 Abs from HIV+ sera. The recovery of each of these Id+ Abs by purification indicated that several idiotypically distinct cross-reactive anti-gp120 Abs are present in sera over a wide range of concentrations. Immunological and biological studies showed that although all of the Id+ Abs were reactive against gp120(SF2) and gp120(IIIB), they exhibited unique epitope specificities and distinct neutralizing activities. Most of the Id+ Abs were directed against epitopes in the CD4 attachment site (CD4 site epitopes) of gp120 and exhibited a spectrum of broadly neutralizing activities. On the other hand, a minor population of Id+ Abs showed specificity for the V3 region of gp120 and exhibited limited cross-neutralizing activities. Together, these studies indicate that the CD4 site epitope-specific Abs are heterogeneous with respect to their clonality, neutralizing activity, and concentration in sera. This heterogeneity suggests that anti-gp120 Abs to the CD4 attachment site are developed in response to multiple overlapping epitopes present on the original virus isolate and/or epitopes on mutated variants which emerged over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science