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Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 Sep;109(3):406-11.

CD28 costimulation and T lymphocyte proliferative responses in HIV-1 infection.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.


To investigate whether defective costimulatory signals could be involved in the loss of T lymphocyte functions during HIV-1 infection, we tested the effect of CD28 costimulation on both T cell receptor/CD3 and HIV-1 antigen-induced proliferative responses. Although CD3-mediated responses significantly decreased with more advanced stages of HIV-1 infection, the ability of potentiating the responses through CD28 costimulation was maintained at all stages and did not differ from that of HIV-1- subjects. When CD28 costimulation was studied in lymphocyte cultures stimulated with HIV-1 gp160 or p24, potentiation was seen only when a significant response was present without additional CD28 triggering, namely in subjects receiving active immunization with recombinant gp160. These results confirm the integrity of the CD28 pathway of costimulation during HIV-1 infection, and suggest that lymphocytes responding to soluble HIV-1 antigen are not deleted in HIV-1-infected patients, but do not receive significant priming during the natural course of the infection.

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