Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Apr 17;104(16):6776-81. Epub 2007 Apr 11.

HIV controllers exhibit potent CD8 T cell capacity to suppress HIV infection ex vivo and peculiar cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation phenotype.

Author information

  • 1Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales, Institut Pasteur, 75725 Paris, France.


Some rare HIV-1-infected individuals, referred to as HIV controllers (HIC), have persistently undetectable plasma viral load in the absence of therapy. This control of HIV-1 replication has been associated with a strong, multifunctional specific CD8(+) T cell response. However, no direct link between this immune response and the control of viremia has so far been provided. We investigated parameters of specific CD8(+) T cell response and in vitro susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in 11 HIC. We found high frequencies of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Interestingly, these cells expressed the activation marker HLA-DR but not CD38. This unique phenotype differentiates HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells from HIC and noncontroller subjects and likely reflects a high potential to expand upon exposure to antigen and a capacity to exert effector functions. Accordingly, although CD4(+) T cells from HIC were fully susceptible to HIV-1 superinfection, their CD8(+) T cells effectively suppressed HIV-1 infection. Remarkably, this potent anti-HIV activity was observed without prior stimulation of CD8(+) T cells. This activity was not mediated by secreted inhibitory factors but was due to the elimination of infected CD4(+) T cells and was observed only with autologous CD4(+) T cells, indicating an HLA-restricted cytotoxic mechanism. This constitutive antiviral capacity of CD8(+) T cells could account for the control of viral replication in HIC.

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

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central Icon for Faculty of 1000
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk