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Activated CD8+ T cells from HIV-infected people are anergic and apoptotic.


Int Conf AIDS. 1993 Jun 6-11;9(1):32 (abstract no. WS-A16-2). Unique

CD8+ T cells are functionally defective early in HIV infection and HIV-specific cytotoxic activity is lost late in the disease. The mechanisms for these defects remain unclear. Separated CD8+ T cells from 11 patients with asymptomatic HIV infection (CD4 percentage 22 +/- 7) exhibited increased apoptosis when incubated in medium overnight, whereas, cells from only 1 of 5 uninfected people studied showed a similar phenomenon. Examination of the CD8- population in the same patients showed increased apoptosis in 5 of 11 tested. From 10-50% of the DNA from the CD8+ cells exhibited apoptosis as measured by quantitative DNA fragmentation. Apoptosis was reduced by using aurintricarboxylic acid (AT), an endonuclease inhibitor. Flow sorting of CD8+ subpopulations from 7 patients showed that both CD8+ DR+ CD57+ and CD57- cells were apoptotic. IL-2 reduced apoptosis in CD57- but not in CD57+ cells. CD8+ CD57+ cells from both normals (5) and infected (2) people were unable to respond to T cell receptor signals by proliferation. Overall, these results suggest that some cells from subpopulations of activated CD8+ T cells in HIV-infected people are functionally anergic and apoptotic. These observations could be related to the loss of antigen specific T cell cytotoxic activity late in infection.

*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/IMMUNOLOGY *Antigens, CD/IMMUNOLOGY *Antigens, CD8/IMMUNOLOGY *HIV *HIV Infections/IMMUNOLOGY *Lymphocyte Transformation *T-Lymphocyte Subsets/IMMUNOLOGY


Information in this article was accurate in November 30, 1993. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.