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2.  Short Communication: CD8+ T Cell Polyfunctionality Profiles in Progressive and Nonprogressive Pediatric HIV Type 1 Infection 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(9):1005-1012.
Abstract
Pediatric HIV-1 infection is characterized by rapid disease progression and without antiretroviral therapy (ART), more than 50% of infected children die by the age of 2 years. However, a small subset of infected children progresses slowly to disease in the absence of ART. This study aimed to identify functional characteristics of HIV-1-specific T cell responses that distinguish children with rapid and slow disease progression. Fifteen perinatally HIV-infected children (eight rapid and seven slow progressors) were longitudinally studied to monitor T cell polyfunctionality. HIV-1-specific interferon (IFN)-γ+ CD8+ T cell responses gradually increased over time but did not differ between slow and rapid progressors. However, polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cell responses, as assessed by the expression of four functions (IFN-γ, CD107a, TNF-α, MIP-1β), were higher in slow compared to rapid progressors (p=0.05) early in infection, and was associated with slower subsequent disease progression. These data suggest that the quality of the HIV-specific CD8+ T cell response is associated with the control of disease in children as has been shown in adult infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0227
PMCID: PMC3332389  PMID: 21288139
3.  Impairment of CD1d-Restricted Natural Killer T Cells in Chronic HIV Type 1 Clade C Infection 
Abstract
Recent studies suggest that natural killer T (NKT) cells play a role in early antiviral pathogenesis and are rapidly depleted in chronic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) clade B infection. We aimed to characterize the phenotypic and functional characteristics of NKT cells in HIV-1 clade C-infected Africans at different stages of HIV-1 disease. NKT cell frequencies, subsets, and ex vivo effector functions were assessed using multiparametric flow cytometry in a cross-sectional analysis of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells from a cohort of 53 HIV-1 clade C chronically infected South African adults with CD4 T cell counts ranging from 94 to 839 cells/μl. We observed a significant decline of NKT cell numbers in advanced HIV-1 disease as well as activation and functional impairment of NKT cells in individuals with low CD4 T cell counts. The loss of NKT cells was largely driven by a reduction in the CD4+ and CD4–CD8– NKT cell subsets in advanced disease. These findings demonstrate significant impairment of the NKT cell compartment in progressive HIV-1 clade C disease that might play an important role in the modulation of immune function in HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0237
PMCID: PMC3083726  PMID: 20942750
4.  Alterations in Natural Killer Cell Receptor Profiles During HIV Type 1 Disease Progression Among Chronically Infected South African Adults 
Abstract
Recent studies suggest that innate immune responses by natural killer (NK) cells play a significant role in restricting human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) pathogenesis. Our aim was to characterize changes in NK cells associated with HIV-1 clade C disease progression. Here we used multiparametric flow cytometry (LSRII) to quantify phenotype and function of NK cells in a cross-sectional analysis of cryopreserved blood samples from a cohort of 41 chronically HIV-1-infected, treatment-naive adult South Africans. These individuals ranged in disease severity from early (CD4 count >500) to advanced HIV-1 disease (CD4 count <50). We found that the frequency of NK cells expressing KIR2DL1, an inhibitory receptor, and/or KIR2DS1, an activating receptor, tended to decrease with increasing HIV-1 viral load. We also discovered a significant increase (p < 0.05) in overall NK cell degranulation with disease progression. We found that acutely activated NK cells (CD69pos) were deficient in NKp46 expression ex vivo. In conclusion, we observed that with viremia and advanced HIV-1 disease, activated NK cells lack NKp46 expression, and KIR2DS1pos and/ or KIR2DL1pos NK cells are reduced in frequency. These findings suggest that modulation of receptor expression on NK cells may play a role in HIV-1 pathogenesis, and provide new insights on immunological changes in advanced HIV-1 disease.
doi:10.1089/aid.2009.0176
PMCID: PMC3111148  PMID: 20380481

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