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Eur J Immunol. 1996 Aug;26(8):1700-6.

Increased expression of CD80, CD86 and CD70 on T cells from HIV-infected individuals upon activation in vitro: regulation by CD4+ T cells.

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Department of Clinical Viro-Immunology, Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Amsterdam.


T cells express CD28 and CD27 which transduce co-stimulatory signals after interaction with their ligands on antigen-presenting cells (APC). These ligands, CD80, CD86 and CD70, are also expressed to some extent on activated T cells. Here, we show that in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, CD28 and CD27 expression is decreased on CD8+ T cells. On the other hand, T cell stimulation in vitro induced high CD80, CD86 and CD70 expression on T cells from HIV-infected individuals. It appeared that an inverted CD4:CD8 T cell ratio could explain this enhanced expression of co-stimulatory ligands. Indeed, high expression levels of CD80, CD86 and CD70 were found on activated CD8+ T cells from HIV- individuals cultured in the absence of CD4+ T cells. Addition of CD4+ T cells prevented this up-regulation. However, in HIV-infected individuals, addition of excess autologous or healthy control CD4+ T cells did not completely counteract up-regulation of co-stimulatory ligand expression on CD8+ T cells. Thus, to some extent, CD8+ T cells in HIV-infected individuals appeared to be refractory to CD4+ T cell-mediated regulation of ligand expression in vitro. Activated T cells from HIV-infected individuals and activated CD8+ T cells from healthy controls were able to act as accessory cells in CD3-induced T cell proliferation, which was dependent on cell-cell contact. Thus, we showed that T cells from HIV-infected individuals express enhanced levels of co-stimulatory ligands upon activation, which provides them with accessory cell properties. Enhanced stimulatory potential of these nonprofessional APC may contribute to persistently high levels of immune activation in HIV infection related to disease progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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