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Nat Med. 2002 Jan;8(1):47-53.

Adoptive transfer of costimulated CD4+ T cells induces expansion of peripheral T cells and decreased CCR5 expression in HIV infection.

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Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


To study the safety and feasibility of T-cell reconstitution in HIV-infected individuals, we adoptively transferred activated autologous CD4+ T cells. Polyclonal peripheral blood CD4+ cells were costimulated ex vivo and subjects were given infusions of up to 3 x 1010 activated CD4+ cells. Dose-dependent increases in CD4+ cell counts and in the CD4:CD8 ratio were observed. Sustained increases in the fraction of cytokine-secreting T cells and decreases in the percentage of CD4+CCR5+ cells were noted in vivo, suggesting enhanced function and resistance to HIV infection. The frequency of CD4+Ki-67+ cells increased whereas CD4+ T cells containing T cell-receptor rearrangement excision circles (TRECs) decreased. These findings indicate that expansion of the peripheral T-cell pool mediated the increase in CD4 counts and suggest that approaches to reconstitute CD4 helper cell activity and decrease CCR5 expression may augment natural immunity to HIV infection.

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