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J Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;181(1):64-75.

Reduced immune activation and T cell apoptosis in human immunodeficiency virus type 2 compared with type 1: correlation of T cell apoptosis with beta2 microglobulin concentration and disease evolution.

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Institut Pasteur, Dakar, Sénégal, West Africa.


This study analyzes the degree of immune activation and characterizes apoptosis in lymphocytes from healthy West African donors or patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 or -2. The lower decline of CD4 T cells in HIV-2- compared with HIV-1-infected donors is associated with lower levels of immune activation, evaluated by HLA-DR expression on lymphocytes and sera concentrations of IgG and beta2 microglobulin (beta2m). Ex vivo apoptosis was found in both infections in all lymphocyte subsets, including CD4 and CD8 T cells, as well as B cells, but was lower in HIV-2 than in HIV-1 infection. Interestingly, high correlations were found in HIV-2- and HIV-1-infected donors between the level of CD4 T cell apoptosis and beta2m concentration and progression of the disease. These observations support the hypothesis that long-term activation of the immune system, weaker in HIV-2 infection, significantly contributes to T cell deletion and disease evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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