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J Immunol Methods. 2007 Oct 31;327(1-2):75-81. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Autologous CD4/CD8 co-culture assay: a physiologically-relevant composite measure of CD8+ T lymphocyte function in HIV-infected persons.

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Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1732, United States.


During HIV-1 infection, the CD8(+) T lymphocyte response is critical to controlling the virus; indeed, the development of AIDS results, in large part, from the eventual failure of this response. The ability to measure the composite CD8(+) T lymphocyte anti-viral activity is, therefore, an essential requirement in the evaluation of immune based therapies and potential vaccines. We report here the details of a reproducible assay that measures the ability of CD8(+) T lymphocytes to suppress viral production by infected autologous CD4(+) T lymphocytes. The assay is not limited to persons with any specific HLA type, and the use of bi-specific antibodies for cell expansion makes the assay feasible in situations where cell numbers may be limiting. The measurement of viral production over time provides a global readout of the CD8(+) T lymphocyte overall function against HIV-1, which can be used for longitudinal assessment of individual HIV-infected persons in order to evaluate therapy, immune reconstitution, and new vaccines.

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