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Current HIV Research

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

Proportion of HIV-1 Infected CD8+CD4- T Lymphocytes In Vivo

Author(s): Naveed Gulzar, Bilge Diker, Jennifer Mihowich, Jose Deschatelets, Mary-Ellen Arsenault, Nancy Lamoureux, Donald W. Cameron, John E. Kim and Karen F.T. Copeland

Volume 6, Issue 6, 2008

Page: [585 - 596] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/157016208786501544

Price: $65

Abstract

The proportion and significance of HIV-1 infection of CD8+ T-cells was examined in a patient cohort of HIV-1 seropositive (n=28) and seronegative individuals (n=4). It was hypothesized that irrespective of the clinical status of the patients, productively HIV-1 infected CD8+ T-cells would be found and these cells would contribute to the plasma viral load in vivo. Flow cytometric analysis using fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies, RT-PCR analysis using HIV-1pol specific primers, and quantification of HIV-1 viral transcripts by ex vivo culture of isolated CD8+ T-cells were employed. In 22 of the 28 patient samples analyzed, a significantly higher proportion of cells with expression of CD8+HIV-1gag+ than of CD4+HIV-1gag+ T-cells was observed (36.9% ± 10.0% vs 26.4% ± 13.1% respectively, p < 0.01). No correlation was observed between absolute CD4 counts, CD8 counts, plasma viral load and CD8+ T cell infection. RT-PCR analysis indicated the presence of HIV-1 transcripts in the ex vivo isolated CD8+ T-cell population. Ex vivo isolated CD8+ T-cells demonstrated productive infection over time. We conclude, with three lines of evidence detecting and measuring HIV-1 infection of CD8+ T-lymphocytes, that this cellular target and reservoir may be central to HIV-1 pathogenesis.

Keywords: CD8+ T cell, HIV-1, infection, viral load

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