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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Dec;32(12):3756-64.

Distribution and functional analysis of memory antiviral CD8 T cell responses in HIV-1 and cytomegalovirus infections.

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Laboratory of AIDS Immunopathogenesis, Divisions of Immunology and Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


In the present study, we have investigated the anatomic distribution and the function of different populations of HIV-1- and cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific memory CD8 T cells. The different populations of virus-specific memory CD8 T cells were distinguished on the basis of the expression of CD45RA and CCR7, and the composition of HIV-1- and CMV-specific memory CD8 T cell pools were compared in subjects with chronic HIV-1 and CMV co-infection. The distribution of HIV-1-specific CD8 T cells was similar between blood and lymph node. However, CMV-specific CD8 T cells were accumulated predominantly in the blood away from the lymphoid tissue. The majority (>70%) of HIV-1- and CMV-specific CD8 T cells in both blood and lymph node had a phenotype, e.g. CCR7-, typical of effector T cells. HIV-1-specific memory CD8 T cells were mostly (>80%) pre-terminally differentiated cells, e.g. CD45RA-CCR7-, in both blood and lymph node while 30-50% of CMV-specific CD8 T cells were terminally differentiated, e.g. CD45RA+CCR7-. Therefore, consistently with studies in mice, antigen-specific effector memory CD8 T cells accumulate predominantly in the target organ of the pathogen in humans, and the differences in the composition of HIV-1- and CMV-specific CD8 T cell pools were also present in the lymphoid tissue. A substantial proportion (30-40%) of virus-specific CD8+CCR7+ T cells produced IFN-gamma. Thus, indicating that the expression of CCR7 does not provide a clear-cut separation of memory CD8 T cells with distinct functional capacities. Taken together, these results provide further advances in the characterization of human memory CD8 T cells.

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