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J Infect Dis. 2001 Dec 1;184(11):1465-9. Epub 2001 Nov 13.

Relationship between human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes and virus load after recent HIV-1 seroconversion.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific memory, or precursor, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in 14 subjects who had recently experienced seroconversion were evaluated with respect to virus set point, defined as plasma HIV-1 RNA level 6 months after seroconversion. Env-, Gag-, Pol-, and Nef-specific precursor CTL were detected in (51)Cr-release assays, using antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells as effectors and B cell lines infected with HIV-1-vaccinia recombinants as targets. All subjects tested had precursor CTL specific to at least 2 HIV-1 antigens. Detection of Env-specific precursor CTL was associated with a high set point (P=.0221). The number of antigens recognized tended to be greater in subjects with higher set points (rho=.45621; P=.1171). Gag-specific precursor CTL frequency correlated inversely with set point (rho=-.8478; P=.0003). Two heterozygotes for a 32-bp deletion in CCR5 had the lowest set points (P=.0220) and highest Gag precursor CTL frequencies (P=.0128). These data suggest that host factors that restrict viral replication may be important determinants of the level of HIV-1-specific precursor CTL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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