Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Virol. 2007 Mar;81(6):2713-25. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Changes in paracrine interleukin-2 requirement, CCR7 expression, frequency, and cytokine secretion of human immunodeficiency virus-specific CD4+ T cells are a consequence of antigen load.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, MSC 1876, Bethesda, MD 20892-1876, USA.


Virus-specific CD4+ T-cell responses are thought to be required for the induction and maintenance of many effective CD8+ T-cell and B-cell immune responses in experimental animals and humans. Although the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD4+ T cells has been documented in patients at all stages of HIV infection, many fundamental questions regarding their frequency and function remain. A 10-color, 12-parameter flow cytometric panel was utilized to examine the frequency, memory phenotype (CD27, CCR7, and CD45RA), and cytokine production (interleukin-2 [IL-2], gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor alpha) of CD4+ T cells specific for HIV antigens as well as for adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), influenza H1N1 virus, influenza H3N2 virus, cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and tetanus toxoid in normal controls, long-term nonprogressors (LTNP), and HIV-infected patients with progressive disease on or off therapy. The HIV-specific CD4+ T-cell responses in LTNP and patients on therapy were similar in frequency, phenotype, and cytokine production to responses directed against adenovirus, EBV, influenza virus, and VZV. HIV-specific CD4+ T cells from patients off antiretroviral therapy demonstrated a shift towards a CCR7(-) CD45RA(-) phenotype and a reduced percentage of IL-2-producing cells. The alterations in cytokine production during HIV viremia were found to be intrinsic to the HIV-specific CD4+ T cells and caused a requirement for IL-2 supplied exogenously for proliferation to occur. These observations suggest that many previously described changes in HIV-specific CD4+ T-cell function and phenotype are a consequence of high levels of antigen in viremic patients. In addition, defects in function and phenotype of HIV-specific CD4+ T cells are not readily discernible in the context of antiretroviral therapy but rather are similar to responses to other viruses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk