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1.  Comparison of Antibodies That Mediate HIV Type 1 gp120 Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity in Asymptomatic HIV Type 1-Positive Men and Women 
Abstract
Recent studies suggest that HIV-specific antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) antibodies contribute to protective immunity against HIV. An important characteristic of future HIV vaccines will, therefore, be the ability to stimulate production of these antibodies in both men and women. Early studies suggest that men may have a better ADCC antibody response against HIV than women. Our objective was to determine whether men and women differ with respect to their ADCC response to HIV-1 gp120. HIV-positive, asymptomatic untreated men and women were matched for race, age, CD4+ T cell number, HIV-1 viral load, and treatment and HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibody titers were compared. A standard 51Cr-release assay was used to determine HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibody titers in HIV-1-seropositive individuals from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; n=32) and the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; n=32). Both sexes had high ADCC titers against HIV-1 gp120: 34.4% (n=11) and 40.6% (n=13) of men and women, respectively, had titers of 10,000; 62.5% (n=20) and 56.3% (n=18) had titers of 100,000. Groups did not differ in percent specific release (% SR), lytic units (LU), correlations of titer to viral load, or titer to CD4+ T cells in men or women. Both groups also had similar cross-clade ADCC antibody responses (p>0.5 for % SR and LU). Comparable groups of asymptomatic HIV-1-infected men and women had comparable HIV-1 gp120 ADCC antibodies. Both sexes had significant cross-clade reactivity. Differences between men and women may become evident as disease progresses; this should be evaluated at later stages of HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0377
PMCID: PMC3887406  PMID: 23972002
2.  Increasing CTL Targeting of Conserved Sequences During Early HIV-1 Infection Is Correlated to Decreasing Viremia 
Abstract
Early HIV-1 infection is marked by rapid evolution of both CD8+ T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope targeting and viral sequences, while chronic infection demonstrates relative stability of these parameters. To examine the interactions of changing CTL targeting and viremia in early infection, we assessed CTL targeting and viremia levels in persons during early HIV-1 infection (estimated 15–271 days post-infection) who were placed on effective antiretroviral therapy. Pre-therapy, CTL targeting of viral proteins varied between persons depending on time after infection. Across individuals, increasing time after infection was associated with increasing Gag and Pol targeting, suggesting increasing targeting of conserved sequences. The intensity of Gag targeting correlated to lower viremia levels, while Env targeting correlated to higher viremia levels during early infection. This suggested that shifted targeting towards more conserved sequences is involved with the drop of viremia during early infection, consistent with prior observations of correlation between Gag targeting and lower viremia during chronic infection. After suppressive antiretroviral therapy, CTL targeting was generally static, indicating that HIV-1 replication and evolution drives the evolution of CTL targeting in early infection. Overall, these data suggest that early CTL targeting is directed towards more variable epitopes, causing escape and re-targeting until more conserved epitopes are recognized stably in chronic infection. Circumventing this natural history by pre-targeting CTL against more conserved epitopes with a vaccine could minimize the initial period of viral escape and immune damage during acute infection, improving long-term containment of HIV-1.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0183
PMCID: PMC3101083  PMID: 21087140
3.  The Relationship Between Antibody to R7V and Progression of HIV Type 1 Infection 
Abstract
The presence of antibody to R7V (anti-R7VAb), a seven-amino acid sequence derived from β2-microglobulin incorporated into HIV-1 virions from the surface of infected cells, has been proposed as an early marker of nonprogressive HIV-1 infection. The present study was undertaken because no prospective studies have tested this hypothesis. Stored samples collected prospectively from 361 HIV-1 seroconverting men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (0.44–1.53 years after seroconversion) were assayed for the presence or absence of anti-R7VAb, using a standardized ELISA. Using Cox proportional hazards models, crude and adjusted relative hazards (RH) were determined for the following outcomes: (a) clinically defined AIDS, (b) clinically defined AIDS or CD4 T cell count of <200 cells/μl, and (c) death. A total of 143 (39.6%) men had early anti-R7VAb and 218 (60.4%) did not; 192 (53.2%) developed AIDS. At the visit tested, men with anti-R7VAb had significantly lower CD4 T cell counts and higher plasma HIV-1 viral loads than those without antibody. After adjustment for CD4 T cell count, HIV-1 viral load, CCR5 polymorphism, and use of combined antiretroviral therapy, the presence of anti-R7VAb was associated with a higher risk of progression for all outcomes, but not significantly so. Absence of anti-R7VAb was significantly associated with expression of HLA-B*5701 and -B*2705, two alleles associated with slower progression of HIV-1 disease. The early presence of anti-R7VAb in HIV-1 seroconverters was not associated with slower progression of HIV-1 disease.
doi:10.1089/aid.2009.0101
PMCID: PMC2933163  PMID: 20415637
4.  Regulatory T Cell Expansion and Immune Activation during Untreated HIV Type 1 Infection Are Associated with Disease Progression 
Abstract
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) may play an important role in the immunopathology of chronic HIV-1 infection due to their potent suppressive activity of both T cell activation and effector function. To investigate the correlation between Tregs and immune activation during untreated chronic HIV-1 infection, we conducted a nested case–control study within the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Twenty HIV-1-infected fast progressors (FP) and 40 slow progressors (SP) were included in our study using risk-set sampling. Nine age-matched HIV-1-uninfected men (UI) were also included. Cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMBCs) were tested using flow cytometry analyses. We identified Tregs as Foxp3+CD25+CD4+ T cells and assessed the activation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells by the expression of CD38, HLADR, or both markers simultaneously. There is a relative expansion of Tregs during HIV-1 infection, which is associated with disease progression. The increased CD38 expression on both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressed as either percentage or median fluorescence intensity (MFI) and the elevated proportion of CD8+ T cells that is HLADR+CD38+ were all associated with rapid HIV-1 progression. Counter to the assumed role of Tregs as the suppressors of activation, the expansion of Tregs was positively correlated with CD4+ T cell activation among HIV-1-infected fast progressors. The high level of Tregs associated with rapid HIV progression may suggest a detrimental role of these cells in the immune control of HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0140
PMCID: PMC2782619  PMID: 19239357
5.  Regulatory T Cell Expansion and Immune Activation during Untreated HIV Type 1 Infection Are Associated with Disease Progression 
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) may play an important role in the immunopathology of chronic HIV-1 infection due to their potent suppressive activity of both T cell activation and effector function. To investigate the correlation between Tregs and immune activation during untreated chronic HIV-1 infection, we conducted a nested case–control study within the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Twenty HIV-1-infected fast progressors (FP) and 40 slow progressors (SP) were included in our study using risk-set sampling. Nine age-matched HIV-1-uninfected men (UI) were also included. Cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMBCs) were tested using flow cytometry analyses. We identified Tregs as Foxp3+CD25+CD4+ T cells and assessed the activation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells by the expression of CD38, HLADR, or both markers simultaneously. There is a relative expansion of Tregs during HIV-1 infection, which is associated with disease progression. The increased CD38 expression on both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressed as either percentage or median fluorescence intensity (MFI) and the elevated proportion of CD8+ T cells that is HLADR+CD38+ were all associated with rapid HIV-1 progression. Counter to the assumed role of Tregs as the suppressors of activation, the expansion of Tregs was positively correlated with CD4+ T cell activation among HIV-1-infected fast progressors. The high level of Tregs associated with rapid HIV progression may suggest a detrimental role of these cells in the immune control of HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0140
PMCID: PMC2782619  PMID: 19239357
6.  Proliferation and Foxp3 Expression in Virus-Specific Memory CD8+ T Lymphocytes 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2008;24(8):1087-1095.
Abstract
Foxp3 plays a critical role in development of CD4+ regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs). It was originally proposed as a specific marker for Tregs, but recent studies have shown that Foxp3 can be expressed in proliferating CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes. We further investigated the association between Foxp3 expression and proliferation of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and focused on virus-specific memory CD8+ T lymphocytes. We found that resting peripheral blood bulk and cytomegalovirus- or HIV-1-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes do not normally express Foxp3. However, stimulation in vitro triggered these cells to express Foxp3 as well as CD25, and the addition of interleukin-2 possibly enhanced the expression of Foxp3. These data demonstrate that proliferation itself is sufficient to induce the Treg-like phenotype. Given that others have demonstrated Treg functional activity in such “induced Tregs,” these results suggest that virus-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes have the capacity to acquire regulatory functions. Although the implications of Foxp3 expression in virus-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in the immunologic control of persistent HIV-1 viremia remain to be determined, our results are consistent with Foxp3 expression playing an essential role in regulation of cell proliferation and functional outcomes for HIV-1-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0041
PMCID: PMC2643876  PMID: 18620494
7.  Proliferation and Foxp3 Expression in Virus-Specific Memory CD8+ T Lymphocytes 
AIDS research and human retroviruses  2008;24(8):1087-1095.
Foxp3 plays a critical role in development of CD4+ regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs). It was originally proposed as a specific marker for Tregs, but recent studies have shown that Foxp3 can be expressed in proliferating CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes. We further investigated the association between Foxp3 expression and proliferation of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and focused on virus-specific memory CD8+ T lymphocytes. We found that resting peripheral blood bulk and cytomegalovirus- or HIV-1-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes do not normally express Foxp3. However, stimulation in vitro triggered these cells to express Foxp3 as well as CD25, and the addition of interleukin-2 possibly enhanced the expression of Foxp3. These data demonstrate that proliferation itself is sufficient to induce the Treg-like phenotype. Given that others have demonstrated Treg functional activity in such “induced Tregs,” these results suggest that virus-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes have the capacity to acquire regulatory functions. Although the implications of Foxp3 expression in virus-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in the immunologic control of persistent HIV-1 viremia remain to be determined, our results are consistent with Foxp3 expression playing an essential role in regulation of cell proliferation and functional outcomes for HIV-1-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0041
PMCID: PMC2643876  PMID: 18620494

Results 1-7 (7)