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Nat Med. 1998 Jul;4(7):794-801.

Limited CD4+ T-cell renewal in early HIV-1 infection: effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

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Department of Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


We show that the fraction of proliferating CD4+ lymphocytes is similar in HIV-infected subjects in the early stage of disease and in HIV-negative subjects, whereas the fraction of proliferating CD8+ lymphocytes is increased 6.8-fold in HIV-infected subjects. After initiation of antiviral therapy, there is a late increase in proliferating CD4+ T cells associated with the restoration of CD4+ T-cell counts. These results provide strong support for the idea of limited CD4+ T-cell renewal in the early stage of HIV infection and indicate that after effective suppression of virus replication, the mechanisms of CD4+ T-cell production are still functional in early HIV infection.

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