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Virology. 2001 Jan 20;279(2):459-70.

Direct measurement of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to CMV in HIV-1-infected subjects.

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Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, San Francisco, California 94141-9100, USA.


Data from murine models of chronic viral infection suggest that CD4+ T-cell responses to viral pathogens are important in sustaining the number and/or function of CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) effectors. In this study, we used cytokine flow cytometry (CFC), staining with HLA-A*0201-peptide tetramers, and peptide stimulation with epitopic peptides to study functional CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to cytomegalovirus (CMV) in human subjects coinfected with CMV and the human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1). We show that strong CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to CMV antigens are sustained over time in HIV-1-infected individuals. Those who maintain a strong CD4+ T-cell response to CMV are also likely to maintain higher frequencies of CD8+ T cells capable of binding to HLA-A*0201-CMV pp65 (A2-pp65) tetramers as well as responses to pp65 peptide stimulation with effector cytokine production. These data support the hypothesis that declines in frequencies of CD4+ T-cell responses to CMV are associated with an inability to sustain high levels of CMV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in HIV-1-infected subjects. These declines may precede the onset of CMV-associated end organ disease.

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