Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against carbohydrate epitopes of gp120 have recently been found to inhibit HIV infection of lymphocytes in vitro thereby opening new possibilities for vaccine considerations. Antibody-dependent enhancement of infection has however come increasingly into focus. This study therefore investigated the neutralization of HIV in a monocytic cell line (U937) using mAbs against these carbohydrate gp120-epitopes. While antibodies against one of the epitopes (AI) neutralized infection of U937 cells despite binding to the Fc-receptor, one mAb against the sialosyl-Tn epitope enhanced infection. This enhancement was independent of complement and could be blocked by mAb Leu3a against the CD4-receptor. The study indicated that enhancement of infection in monocytic cells can occur by the same anti-carbohydrate antibodies that neutralize infection in lymphocytes, and that antibody mediated enhancement may depend on location of the epitope on gp120 rather than whether the antibody binds Fc-receptors.
Antiviral Research, 1991, Vol 16, Issue 3, p. 233-242