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Long-term persistence and function of hematopoietic stem cell-derived chimeric antigen receptor T cells in a nonhuman primate model of HIV/AIDS.

  • Author(s): Zhen, Anjie
  • Peterson, Christopher W
  • Carrillo, Mayra A
  • Reddy, Sowmya Somashekar
  • Youn, Cindy S
  • Lam, Brianna B
  • Chang, Nelson Y
  • Martin, Heather A
  • Rick, Jonathan W
  • Kim, Jennifer
  • Neel, Nick C
  • Rezek, Valerie K
  • Kamata, Masakazu
  • Chen, Irvin SY
  • Zack, Jerome A
  • Kiem, Hans-Peter
  • Kitchen, Scott G
  • et al.
Abstract

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells have emerged as a powerful immunotherapy for various forms of cancer and show promise in treating HIV-1 infection. However, significant limitations are persistence and whether peripheral T cell-based products can respond to malignant or infected cells that may reappear months or years after treatment remains unclear. Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells (HSPCs) are capable of long-term engraftment and have the potential to overcome these limitations. Here, we report the use of a protective CD4 chimeric antigen receptor (C46CD4CAR) to redirect HSPC-derived T-cells against simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection in pigtail macaques. CAR-containing cells persisted for more than 2 years without any measurable toxicity and were capable of multilineage engraftment. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) treatment followed by cART withdrawal resulted in lower viral rebound in CAR animals relative to controls, and demonstrated an immune memory-like response. We found CAR-expressing cells in multiple lymphoid tissues, decreased tissue-associated SHIV RNA levels, and substantially higher CD4/CD8 ratios in the gut as compared to controls. These results show that HSPC-derived CAR T-cells are capable of long-term engraftment and immune surveillance. This study demonstrates for the first time the safety and feasibility of HSPC-based CAR therapy in a large animal preclinical model.

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