Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Immunol. 1994 Dec;24(12):2927-34.

Dysregulation of interleukin-7 receptor may generate loss of cytotoxic T cell response in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection.

Author information

Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.


Virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play a crucial role in modulating an immune response against human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) infection. The generation of effector cytotoxic cells from CTL precursors involves intricate interactions with antigen via T cell receptors (TcR) and soluble cytokines. Interleukin (IL)-7 can affect T cell maturation and differentiation. Here we report on a group of five HIV-1-positive individuals who tested negative for env- and gag-specific CTL activity. When exogenous recombinant human IL-7 was added as a stimulus to the cultures, none (0/5) of the CTL-negative individuals exhibited a CTL response. Individuals that were negative for HIV-1-specific CTL activity were found to lack IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) on CD8+ cells with a comparable reduction on CD4+ cells. Increased shedding of IL-7R in the culture supernatant was observed. A significant reduction in receptor number was detected by binding of 125I-labeled IL-7 and Scatchard analysis. The lack of IL-7R is probably not due to endogenous IL-7, since it was not detectable in the culture supernatants of the patients studied. HIV-1 proteins may cause down-modulation of IL-7R expression, either by producing an insufficient number of molecules or by rapid decay of IL-7R on T cells. These changes may alter the cells' capability to respond to the IL-7 growth signal, resulting in CTL failure and subsequent mishandling of the virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center