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Viral Immunol. 2012 Aug;25(4):329-32. doi: 10.1089/vim.2011.0096. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

PD-1 expression on natural killer cells and CD8(+) T cells during chronic HIV-1 infection.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Imperial College London, London, UK.


Programmed death receptor 1 (PD-1) is an important marker of T-cell exhaustion during HIV-1 infection. Natural killer (NK) cells lose their functional capacity during HIV-1 infection, and PD-1 is expressed on NK cells during other chronic viral and bacterial infections. Here, PD-1 expression was increased on NK cells from both viremic and aviremic HIV-1-seropositive individuals, compared to seronegative controls. However, PD-1 was expressed on a small subset of NK cells and at lower frequency than that observed for CD8(+) T cells. PD-1 was also induced on a minor fraction of NK cells and CD8(+) T cells after long-term culture with IL-15. Raised levels of PD-1 were associated with limited NK cell proliferation, which may have consequences for their maintenance during chronic HIV-1 infection.

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