The role of HIV gp120 in the disruption of the immune system.

Department of Oncology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.
Immunology Letters (Impact Factor: 2.34). 04/1999; 66(1-3):81-7. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-2478(98)00163-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The existence of HIV positive individuals who do not appear to progress to disease, or do so only very slowly (LTNPs), strongly suggest that factors other than virus pathogenicity determine disease. The occurence of HIV infected chimpanzees that remain disease free and other African SIV infected primates where disease is apparently species specific underscores the importance of host factors [1,2]. We have examined the immune response of LTNP patients using a variety of techniques including intracellular cytokine FACscan, anchor PCR analysis of the T cell receptor and HLA typing of class II genes by DNA sequencing. Our results to date confirm that the development of disease is consistent with activation of a susceptible immune system, and that this could be due to the fact that HLA-like sequences of HIV may 'allo' activate the host immune response. In order to test this hypothesis further we have examined whether gp120 itself can bind and present specific peptides which may be capable of eliciting 'allo' activation responses in particular hosts.

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