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J Infect Dis. 2014 May 1;209(9):1321-30. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit643. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

HIV "elite controllers" are characterized by a high frequency of memory CD8+ CD73+ T cells involved in the antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell response.

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INSERM U955, Equipe 16, Créteil.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is characterized by chronic immune activation and suppressed T-lymphocyte functions. Here we report that CD73, both a coactivator molecule of T cells and an immunosuppressive ecto-enzyme through adenosine production, is only weakly expressed by CD8+ T cells of HIV-infected patients and only partially restored after successful antiviral treatment. CD73 expression on CD8+ T cells correlates inversely with cell activation both ex vivo and in vitro. However, CD8+ T cells from HIV controllers (HICs), which spontaneously control HIV replication, express CD73 strongly, despite residual immune activation. Finally, we demonstrate that CD73 is involved in the HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell expansion. Thus, we show that CD73 is central to the functionality of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells and that the preservation of HIV-specific CD73+ CD8+ T cells is a characteristic of HICs. These observations reveal a novel mechanism involved in the control of viral replication.


CD73; CD8+ T-cell response; HIV; HIV controller; activation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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