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Clin Exp Immunol. 2000 Dec;122(3):350-7.

T cell activation, apoptosis and cytokine dysregulation in the (co)pathogenesis of HIV and pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).

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Institute of Tropical Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Antwerp and Department of Physiology and Pathology, Free University of Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium.


Immune parameters were compared in four groups of Ugandan subjects: HIV-and HIV+ adult patients with active pulmonary TB (HIV- PTB n = 38; HIV+ PTB n = 28), patients with HIV infection only (n = 26) and PPD+ healthy controls (n = 25). Compared with healthy controls, CD4 and CD8 T cells from patients with HIV and/or PTB expressed more activation markers (HLA-DR, CD38); their CD8 T cells expressed more CD95 (pre-apoptosis) and less CD28 (co-stimulatory receptor). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with either HIV or PTB were impaired in interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production upon antigenic stimulation. PTB (with or without HIV) was characterized by monocytosis, granulocytosis, increased transforming growth factor-beta 1 production and PPD-induced apoptosis. In vivo CD4 T cell depletion, in vitro increased spontaneous CD4 T cell apoptosis and defects in IFN-gamma responses upon mitogenic stimulation were restricted to HIV+ subjects (with or without PTB). Overlapping and distinctive immune alterations, associated with PTB and HIV, might explain mutual unfavourable influences of both diseases.

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