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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1997 Oct 10;13(15):1301-12.

Longitudinal study of HIV-specific cytotoxic lymphocytes in HIV type 1-infected patients: relative balance between host immune response and the spread of HIV type 1 infection.

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Groupe Universitaire de Recherche en Immunologie Fondamentale et Appliquée, Université de Rennes I, France.


To evaluate the contribution of a specific cytotoxic response in the control of HIV infection in relation to clinical status, we performed serial analysis of anti-Env and anti-Gag cytotoxic activity in 13 infected individuals over a 6- to 10-year period, using cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Autologous EBV-transformed B cell lines infected in vitro with recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing HIV-1 env and gag genes were used as targets. Without any stimulation of the effector cells, we were able to show an anti-HIV cytotoxic activity in the PBMCs of 12 of 13 HIV-1-infected patients, consistent with chronic immune activation in HIV infection. Different patterns of HIV-specific cytotoxic activity were observed, and the extent of this cytotoxic response varied between the clinically defined groups of individuals. No direct relationship was observed with the number of CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes during the observation period. However, patients who remained asymptomatic had a more vigorous cytotoxic response than patients with clinical deterioration during the observation period, and a significant difference was observed for HIV Gag-specific CTL activity. From these data, we suggest that the HIV-specific cytotoxic response has a protective role in the course of HIV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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