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Cytometry. 1997 Feb 15;30(1):1-9.

Measurement of CD69 induction in the assessment of immune function in asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals.

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Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from many asymptomatic HIV-infected patients exhibit defects in cytokine production and impaired proliferative responses in vitro but the mechanisms underlying this subclinical immune deficiency are controversial. To determine whether abnormalities in the earliest events following receptor engagement may help to explain the in vitro immune dysfunction, we measured the inducibility of the early activation marker CD69 in T cells from asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals in response to stimulation with anti-CD2 or anti-CD3 mAb. In a whole blood assay, we found that induction of CD69 was markedly impaired in CD4+ T cells from later-stage HIV-infected patients (CD4 counts 200-400/mm3) compared to uninfected controls. Among early stage patients (CD4 > 400/mm3), a subset (29%) had impaired CD69 induction. CD69 responses were equally depressed after stimulation through the CD3 or CD2 receptor pathways. Survey of a panel of immunophenotypic markers and propensity for apoptosis demonstrated a significant association between depressed induction of CD69 and decreased percentages of CD4+CD26+ and CD4+CD95+ cells but no association with the level of apoptosis. These data indicate that defects in T lymphocyte activation through CD3 and CD2 can be measured within hours of receptor stimulation in asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals and might be useful to monitor as an indicator of immune function in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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