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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 7;8(8):e71879. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071879. eCollection 2013.

Gag-positive reservoir cells are susceptible to HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte mediated clearance in vitro and can be detected in vivo [corrected].

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1
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2013;8(9). doi:10.1371/annotation/3aa92c3d-b6dd-4c6e-8cee-9587ce80a9c9.

Abstract

Resting CD4+T cells infected with HIV persist in the presence of suppressive anti-viral therapy (ART) and are barriers to a cure. One potential curative approach, therapeutic vaccination, is fueled by recognition of the ability of a subset of elite controllers (EC) to control virus without therapy due to robust anti-HIV immune responses. Controllers have low levels of integrated HIV DNA and low levels of replication competent virus, suggesting a small reservoir. As our recent data indicates some reservoir cells can produce HIV proteins (termed GPR cells for Gag-positive reservoir cells), we hypothesized that a fraction of HIV-expressing resting CD4+T cells could be efficiently targeted and cleared in individuals who control HIV via anti-HIV cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). To test this we examined if superinfected resting CD4+T cells from EC express HIV Gag without producing infectious virus and the susceptibility of these cells to CTL. We found that resting CD4+T cells expressed HIV Gag and were cleared by autologous CD8+T cells from EC. Importantly, we found the extent of CTL clearance in our in vitro assay correlates with in vivo reservoir size and that a population of Gag expressing resting CD4+T cells exists in vivo in patients well controlled on therapy.

PMID:
23951263
PMCID:
PMC3737195
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0071879
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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