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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2002 Nov 20;18(17):1301-10.

Increased proliferation within T lymphocyte subsets of HIV-infected adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4318, USA.


Proliferation within T lymphocyte subsets of HIV-infected adolescents was quantified by detection of Ki-67, a nuclear antigen found in cells in late G(1), S, or G(2) phases of the cell cycle. Median percentages and absolute counts of Ki-67(+) cells for all subsets tested (CD4 naive and memory, CD8 naive and memory) were significantly higher for HIV-infected adolescents compared to uninfected controls. CD8 naive cells of HIV-infected adolescents had the greatest increase in rate of proliferation and number of proliferating cells compared to uninfected controls. In HIV-infected adolescents, the percentage and absolute number of proliferating CD4 naive cells were considerably lower than corresponding values for the other subsets. CD4 percent correlated inversely with Ki-67 expression in CD4 memory, CD8 naive, and CD8 memory cells, while Ki-67 expression in CD4 and CD8 memory cells correlated directly with average CD38 molecules/CD8 cell and absolute number of CD8/CD38/HLA-DR cells, consistent with T cell activation. These results indicate that in adolescents, HIV infection is associated with increased proliferation within CD4 and CD8 naive and memory subsets. Proliferation within the CD8 naive subset was higher than that observed previously for HIV-infected adults, suggesting that adolescents have a greater ability to regenerate and/or expand CD8 naive cells. CD4 naive cells of HIV-infected adolescents had a low rate of proliferation, and the total number of CD4 naive cells was low, suggesting that regeneration and/or peripheral expansion are limited and may contribute to the reduced size of this subset. The Ki-67 assay provided new and useful information on in vivo lymphocyte proliferation in HIV-infected adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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