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Elevated levels of CD38+ CD8+ T cells in HIV infection add to the prognostic value of low CD4+ T cell levels: results of 6 years of follow-up. The Los Angeles Center, Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.

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Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine 90024-1745.


A cohort of 98 HIV-infected initially AIDS-free homosexual men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) was followed for 6 years to investigate whether CD8+ cell subsets have prognostic value for progression to AIDS. In the present study, four subsets of CD8+ T cells that previously have been shown to be selectively elevated in HIV-infected asymptomatic persons, specifically the CD8+ T cell subsets that were CD38+, HLA-DR+, CD57+ and L-selectin negative (Leu8-), were measured. Forty-nine of the 98 developed AIDS. Prognostic value of these CD8+ cell subsets was evaluated using the proportional hazards model. Levels of both CD38+ CD8+ and Leu8- CD8+ cells individually had prognostic value for progression to AIDS. In contrast, CD57+ CD8+ and HLA-DR+ CD8+ cell subsets levels did not have prognostic value. After adjustment for level of CD4+ T cells, however, only the elevation in the CD38+ CD8+ cell subset had additional prognostic value. These results suggest that the level of CD38+ CD8+ cells could be used together with the CD4+ T cell level to more accurately predict progression to AIDS among HIV-infected men. These results provide further support for the observation that dramatic and progressive activation of CD8+ T cells in HIV infection occurs. The power of elevated levels of the CD38+ CD8+ subset to predict poor prognosis in this cohort suggests these CD8+ T cells reflect an immune stimulation that is ultimately unable to control disease progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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