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Emergence of polyfunctional CD8+ T cells after prolonged suppression of human immunodeficiency virus replication by antiretroviral therapy

Rehr, Manuela, Cahenzli, Julia, Haas, Anna, Price, David, Gostick, Emma, Huber, Milo, Karrer, Urs and Oxenius, Annette 2008. Emergence of polyfunctional CD8+ T cells after prolonged suppression of human immunodeficiency virus replication by antiretroviral therapy. Journal of Virology 82 (7) , pp. 3391-3404. 10.1128/JVI.02383-07

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Progressive human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is often associated with high plasma virus load (pVL) and impaired CD8+ T-cell function; in contrast, CD8+ T cells remain polyfunctional in long-term nonprogressors. However, it is still unclear whether CD8+ T-cell dysfunction is the cause or the consequence of high pVLs. Here, we conducted a longitudinal functional and phenotypic analysis of virus-specific CD8+ T cells in a cohort of patients with chronic HIV-1 infection. During the initiation and maintenance of successful antiretroviral therapy (ART), we assessed whether the level of pVL was associated with the degree of CD8+ T-cell dysfunction. Under viremic conditions, HIV-specific CD8+ T cells were dysfunctional with respect to cytokine secretion (gamma interferon, interleukin-2 [IL-2], and tumor necrosis factor alpha), and their phenotype suggested limited potential for proliferation. During ART, cytokine secretion by HIV-specific CD8+ T cells was gradually restored, IL-7Rα and CD28 expression increased dramatically, and PD-1 levels declined. Thus, prolonged ART-induced reduction of viral replication and, hence, presumably antigen exposure in vivo, allows a significant functional restoration of CD8+ T cells with the appearance of polyfunctional cells. These findings indicate that the level of pVL as a surrogate for antigen load has a dominant influence on the phenotypic and functional profile of virus-specific CD8+ T cells.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 25/02/2014)
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
ISSN: 0022-538X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2017 14:55

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