Comparison of the Frequency of Interleukin (IL)-2-, Interferon-γ-, and IL-4-Producing T Cells in 2 Diseases, Human Immunodeficiency Virus Types 1 and 2, with Distinct Clinical Outcomes
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 2 infection is associated with a better clinical outcome, slower rates of CD4 T cell decline, and lower viremia than is HIV-1. This study compares HIV-1 and HIV-2 in regard to the percentages of interleukin (IL)-2-, interferon (IFN)-gamma-, and IL-4-producing cells at the single-cell level, as determined by flow cytometry. At a given degree of CD4 T cell depletion, the frequency of T cells able to produce IL-2 is better preserved in HIV-2 than in HIV-1 infection, particularly within the CD4 T cell subset. As described for HIV-1 immunodeficiency, HIV-2-positive patients exhibit a marked expansion of terminally differentiated effector CD8 T cells (CD28(-)CD27(-)IFN-gamma(+)). However, the proportion of CD8 T cells able to simultaneously produce IL-2 and IFN-gamma is higher in HIV-2 disease. Considering the central role of IL-2 as a lymphocyte proliferative and survival factor, these findings provide a possible immunologic basis for the distinct course of HIV-2 immunodeficiency.
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