[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD4+ T cell depletion and destruction and the involution of the lymphoid tissue are hallmarks of HIV infection. Although the underlying mechanisms are still unclear, apoptosis appears to play a central role. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of antiretroviral therapy on the lymph node tissue, particularly with respect to morphology and apoptosis.
Between 1997 and 1999, two inguinal lymph nodes were excised from 31 previously untreated individuals who were in an early stage of HIV infection, the first one prior to treatment and the second after 16 to 20 months of treatment. Paraffin sections were investigated for lymph node architecture, distribution of cellular and viral markers, apoptosis, and expression of apoptotic key molecules which indirectly reflect apoptotic processes.
After 16-20 months of antiretroviral therapy, a significant decrease in highly activated HIV-driven immune response was observed in the lymph node tissue as a marked reduction in follicular hyperplasia, a normalization of the follicular dendritic cell network, a significant increase in the number of CD4+ T cells, and a significant decrease in the number of CD8+ T cells. The expression of several proapoptotic (Fas, TRAIL, and active caspase 3) and antiapoptotic (Bcl-2 and IL-7Ralpha) molecules that were reconstituted in the tissues during therapy resembled their expression in lymph nodes of HIV-negative individuals. Limitations of the study are (a) the lack of untreated patients in the late stages, (b) for ethical reasons, the lack of a control group with untreated patients, and (c) for methodological reasons, the restriction of sequential measurements of apotpotic markers to one-third of the patients.
Antiretroviral therapy initiated in the early stages in HIV infection may halt the irreversible destruction of the lymph node tissue and may partially normalize apoptotic processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we have characterized intra-patient length polymorphism in V4 by cloning and sequencing a C2-C4 fragment from HIV plasma RNA in patients at different stages of HIV disease. Clonal analysis of clade B, G, and CRF02 isolates during early infection shows extensive intra-patient V4 variability, due to the presence of indel-associated polymorphism. Indels, coupled to amino acid substitution events, affect the number and distribution of potential N-glycosylation sites, resulting in the coexistence, within the same patient, of V4 subsets, each characterized by different sizes, amino acid sequences, and potential N-glycosylation patterns. In contrast, V3 appears to be relatively homogeneous, with similar V3 associated to significantly different V4 within the same clinical specimen. Based on these data, we propose that during early chronic infection V4 is present as a highly divergent quasispecies, enabling the virus to adopt different conformational structures according to immune constrains and other selective pressures.
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 02/2008; 24(1):106-13. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine temporal variation in the effects of CCR5-Delta32 and CCR2-64I chemokine receptor gene polymorphisms on HIV-1 disease progression.
Pooled analysis of individual patient data from 10 cohorts of HIV-1 seroconverters from the United States, Europe, and Australia.
We studied HIV-1 seroconverters of European (n = 1635) or African (n = 215) ancestry who had been genotyped for CCR5-Delta32 and CCR2-64I. We used Cox proportional hazards models with time-varying coefficients to determine whether the genetic protection against AIDS (1987 case definition) and death varied with time since seroconversion.
Protection against AIDS conferred by CCR5-Delta32 held constant at a 31% (RH 0.69, 95% CI 0.54, 0.88) reduction in risk over the course of HIV-1 infection, whereas protection against death held constant at a 39% reduction in risk (RH 0.61, 95% CI 0.45, 0.88). When the period from AIDS to death was isolated, the survival benefit of CCR5-Delta32 diminished 2 years after AIDS. Protection against AIDS conferred by CCR2-64I was greatest early in the disease course. Compared with individuals without CCR5-Delta32 or CCR2-64I, individuals with one or two copies of CCR2-64I had a 58% lower risk of AIDS during the first 4 years after seroconversion (RH 0.42, 95% CI 0.23, 0.76), a 19% lower risk during the subsequent 4 years (RH 0.81, 95% CI 0.59, 1.12), and no significant protection thereafter.
The protection against AIDS provided by CCR5-Delta32 is continuous during the course of infection. In contrast, the protection provided by CCR2-64I is greatest early in the course of infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD4 T-cell-specific memory antiviral responses to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) were investigated in 16 patients with documented primary HIV-1 infection (4 of the 16 subjects also had primary CMV infection) and compared with those observed in patients with chronic HIV-1 and CMV coinfection. Virus-specific memory CD4 T cells were characterized on the basis of the expression of the chemokine receptor CCR7. HIV-1- and CMV-specific interferon-gamma-secreting CD4 T cells were detected in patients with primary and chronic HIV-1 and CMV coinfection and were mostly contained in the cell population lacking expression of CCR7. The magnitude of the primary CMV-specific CD4 T-cell response was significantly greater than that of chronic CMV infection, whereas there were no differences between primary and chronic HIV-1-specific CD4 T-cell responses. A substantial proportion of CD4(+)CCR7(-) T cells were infected with HIV-1. These results advance the characterization of antiviral memory CD4 T-cell response and the delineation of the potential mechanisms that likely prevent the generation of a robust CD4 T-cell immune response during primary infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary HIV-1 infection causes extensive immune activation, during which CD4(+) T cell activation supports massive HIV-1 production. We tested the safety and the immune-modulating effects of combining cyclosporin A (CsA) treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during primary HIV-1 infection. Nine adults with primary HIV-1 infection were treated with CsA along with HAART. At week 8, all patients discontinued CsA but maintained HAART. Viral replication was suppressed to a comparable extent in the CsA + HAART cohort and in 29 control patients whose primary infection was treated with HAART alone. CsA restored normal CD4(+) T cell levels, both in terms of percentage and absolute numbers. The increase in CD4(+) T cells was apparent within a week and persisted throughout the study period. CsA was not detrimental to virus-specific CD8(+) or CD4(+) T cell responses. At week 48, the proportion of IFN-gamma-secreting CD4(+) and CD4(+)CCR7(-) T cells was significantly higher in the CsA + HAART cohort than in the HAART-alone cohort. In conclusion, rapid shutdown of T cell activation in the early phases of primary HIV-1 infection can have long-term beneficial effects and establish a more favorable immunologic set-point. Appropriate, immune-based therapeutic interventions may represent a valuable complement to HAART for treating HIV infection.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 04/2002; 109(5):681-8. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advances in HIV-1 pathogenesis, and in defining virological and immunological responses to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), along with the identification of the numerous drawbacks of HAART, have clearly demonstrated that the eradication of the virus is not a feasible therapeutic goal, and that there is an urgent need to develop other approaches to fight HIV-1 infection. Novel therapeutic approaches of immune modulation have recently been evaluated in pilot clinical trials. First, treating primary HIV-1 infection with cyclosporin A (CsA) coupled with HAART to target massive immune activation extends the benefits achieved with HAART during primary HIV-1 infection and might contribute to the establishment of a more favourable immunological set-point affecting the ultimate pattern and rate of disease progression. Second, treating chronic HIV-1 infection in patients with long-term suppression of virus replication induced by HAART, with the addition of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) reduces the pool of activated CD4+ T lymphocytes able to support productive HIV-1 infection, and might have an indirect impact on the pool of resting, latently infected CD4+ T cells, contributing to its depletion in vivo. The important question is clearly whether these results will have an impact on the clinical management of patients with HIV-1 infection, determining the precise therapeutic function of drugs like CsA and MMF, thus investigating the effects of these drugs on residual viral replication and the decay of the latent reservoir, on long-term immunological benefit, and, ultimately, on clinical benefit.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 01/2002; 16(1):83-90. · 5.18 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies relating certain chemokine and chemokine receptor gene alleles with the outcome of HIV-1 infection have yielded inconsistent results.
To examine postulated associations of genetic alleles with HIV-1 disease progression.
Meta-analysis of individual-patient data.
19 prospective cohort studies and case-control studies from the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Patients with HIV-1 infection who were of European or African descent.
Time to AIDS, death, and death after AIDS and HIV-1 RNA level at study entry or soon after seroconversion. Data were combined with fixed-effects and random-effects models.
Both the CCR5-Delta32 and CCR2-64I alleles were associated with a decreased risk for progression to AIDS (relative hazard among seroconverters, 0.74 and 0.76, respectively; P = 0.01 for both), a decreased risk for death (relative hazard among seroconverters, 0.64 and 0.74; P < 0.05 for both), and lower HIV-1 RNA levels after seroconversion (difference, -0.18 log(10) copies/mL and -0.14 log(10) copies/mL; P < 0.05 for both). Having the CCR5-Delta32 or CCR2-64I allele had no clear protective effect on the risk for death after development of AIDS. The results were consistent between seroconverters and seroprevalent patients. In contrast, SDF-1 3'A homozygotes showed no decreased risk for AIDS (relative hazard for seroconverters and seroprevalent patients, 0.99 and 1.03, respectively), death (relative hazard, 0.97 and 1.00), or death after development of AIDS (relative hazard, 0.81 and 0.97; P > 0.5 for all).
The CCR5-Delta32 and CCR2-64I alleles had a strong protective effect on progression of HIV-1 infection, but SDF-1 3'A homozygosity carried no such protection.
Annals of internal medicine 11/2001; 135(9):782-95. · 13.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding the lineage differentiation of memory T cells is a central question in immunology. We investigated this issue by analysing the expression of the chemokine receptor CCR7, which defines distinct subsets of naive and memory T lymphocytes with different homing and effector capacities and antiviral immune responses to HIV and cytomegalovirus. Ex vivo analysis of the expression of CD45RA and CCR7 antigens, together with in vitro analysis of the cell-division capacity of different memory CD8+ T-cell populations, identified four subsets of HIV- and CMV-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes, and indicated the following lineage differentiation pattern: CD45RA+ CCR7+ --> CD45RA- CCR7+ --> CD45RA- CCR7- --> CD45RA+ CCR7-. Here we demonstrate through analysis of cell division (predominantly restricted to the CCR7+ CD8+ T-cell subsets) that the differentiation of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells is a two-step process characterized initially by a phase of proliferation largely restricted to the CCR7+ CD8+ cell subsets, followed by a phase of functional maturation encompassing the CCR7- CD8+ cell subsets. The distribution of these populations in HIV- and CMV-specific CD8+ T cells showed that the HIV-specific cell pool was predominantly (70%) composed of pre-terminally differentiated CD45RA- CCR7- cells, whereas the CMV-specific cell pool consisted mainly (50%) of the terminally differentiated CD45RA+ CCR7- cells. These results demonstrate a skewed maturation of HIV-specific memory CD8+ T cells during HIV infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When to start highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in asymptomatic chronically HIV-1-infected subjects with CD4 cell counts of 300 x 10(6)-500 x 10(6)/l is debated extensively. Retrospective analyses of virological and immunological responses following HAART have been evaluated in both blood and lymph nodes according to pre-treatment levels of CD4 cells either above or below 500 x 10(6)/l.
Open-label, observational, non-randomized, prospective study.
Outpatients attending the Centre of Clinical Investigation in Infectious Diseases, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Fifty-four HIV-1-infected antiretroviral-naive subjects with CD4 cell count > or = 250 x 10(6)/l and plasma viraemia > or = 5000 copies/ml who had been treated with HAART for at least 48 weeks. Controls were 49 HIV-negative subjects.
All patients received abacavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir soft gel capsules, and amprenavir in varying combinations for 72 weeks.
The extent of immune reconstitution following HAART in 43 and 11 subjects with either more or fewer than 500 x 10(6) CD4 cells/l at baseline was evaluated in blood and lymph node, and compared with immunological measures observed in 49 HIV-negative controls.
After 48 weeks of therapy, plasma viraemia was suppressed effectively in both groups of patients. Normalization of both CD4 cell count in blood, divided equally between memory and naive cells, and percentage of CD4 cells in lymph nodes occurred in the two groups. Consistently, the net increase over baseline in CD4 cell count and in memory and naive CD4 subsets was greater in patients with fewer than 500 x 10(6) CD4 cells/l at baseline. Recovery of HIV-specific responses was similar in the two groups.
This study suggests that virological and immunological responses are comparable in asymptomatic therapy-naive HIV-1-infected subjects with CD4 cell counts above or below 500 x 10(6)/l.
AIDS 10/2000; 14(15):2257-63. · 6.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the immunological and virological responses to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in blood and lymphoid compartments of HIV-1-infected patients at an early stage of infection.
Design: An open-label, observational, non-randomized, prospective trial of outpatients attending the Centre of Clinical Investigation in Infectious Diseases, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Subjects: Forty-one antiretroviral-naive HIV-1-infected adults with 400 CD4 T cells/μl or greater and 5000 plasma HIV-1-RNA copies/ml or greater were enrolled, and 32 finished the study. Forty-nine HIV-negative individuals were included as controls. All subjects gave written informed consent.
Interventions: All patients received abacavir 300 mg by mouth every 12 h and amprenavir 1200 mg by mouth every 12 h for 72 weeks.
Mainoutcome measures: The extent of immune reconstitution in blood and lymph nodes after 72 weeks of HAART was evaluated, and compared with immunological measures of 49 HIV-negative subjects.
Results: Virus replication was effectively suppressed (-3.5 log10 at week 72). Substantial increments of CD4 T cell count in blood and percentage in lymph nodes were observed over time, and these measures were comparable to HIV-negative subjects by week 24 in blood and by week 48 in lymph nodes. The increase was equally distributed between naive and memory CD4 T cells. Recovery of HIV-specific CD4 responses occurred in 40% of patients.
Conclusion: The initiation of HAART at an early stage of established HIV infection induces systemic quantitative normalization of CD4 T cells, a partial recovery of HIV-specific CD4 cell responses, and effective and durable suppression of virus replication.
AIDS 09/2000; 14(13):1887-1897. · 6.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SDF-1 3'A allelic polymorphism has been reported to influence either positively or negatively the progression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease. Therefore, the SDF-1 genotype of 729 HIV-1-infected individuals pooled from 3 distinct cohorts was determined. A statistically nonsignificant association between the SDF1-3'A/3'A genotype and accelerated disease progression was evident among seroconverters (n=319), but a striking correlation of decreased survival after either diagnosis of AIDS according to the 1993 definition or loss of CD4(+) T cell counts <200 was observed. The relative hazards for SDF1-3'A/3'A homozygotes, compared with heterozygotes and wild-type homozygotes were 2.16 (P=.0047), for time from diagnosis according to the 1993 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention AIDS case definition (AIDS-'93) to death, and 3.43 (P=.0001), for time from CD4(+) T cells <200 to death. Because no difference in survival was observed after diagnosis according to AIDS-'87, the association of the SDF1-3'A/3'A genotype with the accelerated progression of late-stage HIV-1 disease appears to be explained for the most part by the loss of CD4(+) T lymphocytes.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 08/2000; 182(1):311-5. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycophenolic acid, a selective inhibitor of the de novo synthesis
of guanosine nucleotides in T and B lymphocytes, has been proposed to inhibit
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in vitro by depleting
the substrate (guanosine nucleotides) for reverse transcriptase. Here we show
that mycophenolic acid induced apoptosis and cell death in a large proportion
of activated CD4+ T cells, thus indicating that it may inhibit
HIV infection in vitro by both virological mechanisms and immunological
mechanisms (depletion of the pool of activated CD4+ T lymphocytes).
Administration of mycophenolate mophetil, the ester derivate of mycophenolic
acid, to HIV-infected subjects treated with anti-retroviral therapy and with
undetectable viremia resulted in the reduction of the number of dividing CD4
+ and CD8+ T cells and in the inhibition of virus isolation
from purified CD4+ T-cell populations. Based on these results,
the potential use of mycophenolate mophetil in the treatment of HIV infection
deserves further investigation in controlled clinical trials.
Nature Medicine 06/2000; 6(7):762-768. · 22.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The long-term kinetics of T cell production following highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were investigated in blood and lymph node in a group of HIV-infected subjects at early stage of established infection and prospectively studied for 72 wk. Before HAART, CD4 and CD8 T cell turnover was increased. However, the total number of proliferating CD4(+) T lymphocytes, i.e., CD4(+)Ki67(+) T lymphocytes, was not significantly different in HIV-infected (n = 73) and HIV-negative (n = 15) subjects, whereas proliferating CD8(+)Ki67(+) T lymphocytes were significantly higher in HIV-infected subjects. After HAART, the total body number of proliferating CD4(+)Ki67(+) T lymphocytes increased over time and was associated with an increase of both naive and memory CD4(+) T cells. The maximal increase (2-fold) was observed at week 36, whereas at week 72 the number of proliferating CD4(+) T cells dropped to baseline levels, i.e., before HAART. The kinetics of the fraction of proliferating CD4 and CD8 T cells were significantly correlated with the changes in the total body number of these T cell subsets. These results demonstrate a direct relationship between ex vivo measures of T cell production and quantitative changes in total body T lymphocyte populations. This study provides advances in the delineation of the kinetics of T cell production in HIV infection in the presence and/or in the absence of HAART.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2000; 97(10):5393-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major T-cell receptor beta chain variable region (TCRBV) repertoire perturbations are temporally associated with the down-regulation of viremia during primary human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and with oligoclonal expansion and clonal exhaustion of HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). To determine whether initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during primary infection influences the dynamics of T-cell-mediated immune responses, the TCRBV repertoire was analyzed by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction in serial blood samples obtained from 11 untreated and 11 ART-treated patients. Repertoire variations were evaluated longitudinally. Stabilization of the TCRBV repertoire was more consistently observed in treated as compared with untreated patients. Furthermore, the extent and the rapidity of stabilization were significantly different in treated versus untreated patients. TCRBV repertoire stabilization was positively correlated with the slope of HIV viremia in the treated group, suggesting an association between repertoire stabilization and virologic response to treatment. To test whether stabilization was associated with variations in the clonal complexity of T-cell populations, T-cell receptor (TCR) heteroduplex mobility shift assays (HMAs) were performed on sequential samples from 4 HAART-treated subjects. Densitometric analysis of HMA profiles showed a reduction in the number of TCR clonotypes in most TCRBV families and a significant decrease in the total number of clonotypes following 7 months of HAART. Furthermore, a biphasic decline in HIV-specific but not heterologous CTL clones was observed. This indicates that ART leads to a global reduction of CD8(+) T-cell oligoclonality and significantly modulates the mobilization of HIV-specific CTL during primary infection. (Blood. 2000;95:1743-1751)
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effective therapeutic interventions and clinical care of adults infected with HIV-1 require an understanding of factors that influence time of response to antiretroviral therapy. We have studied a cohort of 118 HIV-1-infected subjects naive to antiretroviral therapy and have correlated the time of response to treatment with a series of virological and immunological measures, including levels of viral load in blood and lymph node, percent of CD4 T cells in lymph nodes, and CD4 T-cell count in blood at study entry. Suppression of viremia below the limit of detection, 50 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL of plasma, served as a benchmark for a successful virological response. We employed these correlations to predict the length of treatment required to attain a virological response in each patient. Baseline plasma viremia emerged as the factor most tightly correlated with the duration of treatment required, allowing us to estimate the required time as a function of this one measure.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 04/2000; 105(6):777-82. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HAART is the cornerstone of HIV therapy, and has significantly reduced morbidity and mortality associated with HIV disease. The institution of HAART during the primary HIV-1 infection has a more profound influence on the ultimate pattern and rate of disease progression than therapy commenced later on. However, it also well demonstrated that HAART alone is not able to eradicate the virus, unless over a life-long period of time. There is therefore the need to develop alternative strategies aimed at modulating the immune responses in order to achieve the long-term control of HIV even once HAART is discontinued. Among immunomodulant agents, cyclosporin A in combination with HAART might play a role in the treatment of people with primary HIV-1 infection.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 01/2000; 14(1):79-81. · 5.18 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The availability of potent combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), also known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART has changed the prognosis of HIV infection. However, the benefits have to be seen in the context of deficiencies of current therapy: failure to eradicate the virus, the slow and potentially incomplete recovery of the immune system, the high prevalence of resistance, and the potential for long-term toxicity. Treatment strategies need to take into account these limits to better target those HIV-infected patients who could benefit the most from antiretroviral therapy.
Reviews in Medical Virology 01/2000; 10(6):385-93. · 7.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent availability of highly active antiretroviral combination therapy (HAART) has significantly influenced the natural history of the infection, delaying the progression to overt AIDS and prolonging survival. At the same time, the increasing knowledge on the pathogenic mechanisms an the use of HAART have challenged the most widely accepted theories about HIV-1 disease, in particular about the feasibility to eradicate the virus. This review will outline what is and what is not achievable by HAART, and will discuss new concepts in the immunopathogenesis of HIV-1 infection that provide the rationale for the design of new therapeutic approaches in the management of HIV-1 disease and AIDS.
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents 01/1999; 13(3):151-7. · 5.18 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the secretion and expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of TNF-alpha and TNF-related molecules with regard to Th1/Th2-type cytokine production. In 76 HIV+ patients at different disease stages and in 25 controls we measured cytokine (TNF-alpha/beta, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-2, IL-4, IL-10), and activation marker secretion (sCD4, sCD8, sCD30) in phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated and unstimulated PBMC cultures by ELISA, and membrane-bound TNF-alpha and CD30 expression by flow cytometry. We found an expansion of the TNF system in HIV+ individuals, that positively correlated with TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and sCD8, probably representing activation of the cytotoxic compartment. In advanced disease these correlations disappeared, and TNF-alpha and TNF-related molecules positively correlated with IL-10. Our results are in line with the hypothesis that an expanded TNF system is immunopathological in conjunction with Th2-type immunity in the advanced stage of disease and with the inexorable progression to disease seen when both IL-10 and TNF-alpha are elevated.