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Immunol Lett. 1999 Mar;66(1-3):207-11.

Restoration of the immune system with anti-retroviral therapy.

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Laboratoire d'Immunologie Cellulaire et Tissulaire, UMR CNRS 7627, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


Clinical benefits of highly active anti-retroviral treatments (HAART) are increasingly evidenced by resolving opportunistic infections and malignancies, as well as declining hospitalization and mortality rates [1]. This suggests that potent and sustained suppression of viral replication, at least to some extent, is associated with reconstitution of the immune system even in adult patients treated at advanced stages of the disease. Increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and tumors mainly results from the loss of memory CD4+ T cell reactivity against recall antigens which is an early event in HIV disease progression. Primary responses of naive CD4+ T cells against new pathogens are suppressed even earlier in the course of HIV disease, and the progressive depletion in naive CD4+ T cells reflects profound alterations in T cell regeneration capacities. Previous studies revealed that monotherapy with ritonavir, a protease inhibitor, resulted in a slight improvement in memory CD4+ T cell responses to recall Ags only when detectable prior to onset of therapy, suggesting that the loss of CD4+ T cell reactivity might be irreversible at advanced stages of the disease [2]. In contrast our group demonstrated more recently that restoration in CD4+ T cell reactivity to specific antigens was feasible when HAART was administered in progressors [3]. Here we address some of the questions raised by immune restoration with HAART when administered at advanced stages of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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