Impact of antigen specificity on CD4(+) T cell activation in chronic HIV-1 infection
AuthorSmith, MZ; Bastidas, S; Karrer, U; Oxenius, A
Source TitleBMC Infectious Diseases
PublisherBIOMED CENTRAL LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sSmith, Miranda
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSmith, M. Z., Bastidas, S., Karrer, U. & Oxenius, A. (2013). Impact of antigen specificity on CD4(+) T cell activation in chronic HIV-1 infection. BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, 13 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-13-100.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: HIV infection induces chronic immune activation which is associated with accelerated disease progression; the causes of this activation, however, are incompletely understood. We investigated the activation status of CD4+ T cells specific for chronic herpes viruses and the non-persistent antigen tetanus toxoid (TT) in HIV positive and HIV negative donors to assess whether persistent infections contribute to chronic CD4+ T cell activation. METHODS: Untreated HIV+ patients and healthy, aged matched controls were recruited and activation levels assessed and compared between cells specific for persistent and non-persistent antigens. Activation levels on antigen-specific CD4+ T cells were measured by intracellular cytokine staining following in vitro stimulation with various recall antigens (CMV, EBV, HSV, VZV and TT) in conjunction with cell surface phenotyping. RESULTS: Activation levels of herpes virus-specific CD4+ T cell populations, assessed by co-expression of CD38 and HLA-DR, were significantly elevated in HIV+ individuals compared to normal controls and compared to TT-specific responses. In contrast, we found similar levels of activation of TT-specific CD4+ T cells in HIV+ and HIV- donors. CONCLUSIONS: These results show a disparate distribution of immune activation within CD4+ T cell populations depending on their specificity and suggest that the elevated level of immune activation that characterizes chronic HIV infection may be influenced by the persistence of other antigens.
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