[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identifying the functions of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CD8+ T cells that are not merely modulated by the level of virus but clearly distinguish patients with immune control from those without such control is of paramount importance. Features of the HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell response in antiretroviral-treated patients (designated Rx <50) and untreated patients (long-term nonprogressors [LTNP]) matched for very low HIV RNA levels were comprehensively examined. The proliferative capacity of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells was not restored in Rx <50 to the level observed in LTNP, even though HIV-specific CD4+ T-cell proliferation in the two patient groups was comparable. This diminished HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell proliferation in Rx <50 was primarily due to a smaller fraction of antigen-specific cells recruited to divide and not to the numbers of divisions that proliferating cells had undergone. Exogenous interleukin-2 (IL-2) induced proliferating cells to divide further but did not rescue the majority of antigen-specific cells with defective proliferation. In addition, differences in HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell proliferation could not be attributed to differences in cellular subsets bearing a memory phenotype, IL-2 production, or PD-1 expression. Although polyfunctionality of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in Rx <50 was not restored to the levels observed in LTNP despite prolonged suppression of HIV RNA levels, per-cell cytotoxic capacity was the functional feature that most clearly distinguished the cells of LTNP from those of Rx <50. Taken together, these data suggest that there are selective qualitative abnormalities within the HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell compartment that persist under conditions of low levels of antigen.
Journal of Virology 09/2009; 83(22):11876-89. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To better understand the components of an effective immune response to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the CD8(+) T-cell responses to HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) were compared with regard to frequency, immunodominance, phenotype, and interleukin-2 (IL-2) responsiveness. Responses were examined in rare patients exhibiting durable immune-mediated control over HIV, termed long-term nonprogressors (LTNP) or elite controllers, and patients with progressive HIV infection (progressors). The magnitude of the virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response targeting HIV, CMV, and HCV was not significantly different between LTNP and progressors, even though their capacity to proliferate to HIV antigens was preserved only in LTNP. In contrast to HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses of LTNP, HLA B5701-restricted responses within CMV pp65 were rare and did not dominate the total CMV-specific response. Virus-specific CD8(+) T cells were predominantly CD27(+)45RO(+) for HIV and CD27(-)45RA(+) for CMV; however, these phenotypes were highly variable and heavily influenced by the degree of viremia. Although IL-2 induced significant expansions of CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells in LTNP and progressors by increasing both the numbers of cells entering the proliferating pool and the number of divisions, the proliferative capacity of a significant proportion of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells was not restored with exogenous IL-2. These results suggest that immunodominance by HLA B5701-restricted cells is specific to HIV infection in LTNP and is not a feature of responses to other chronic viral infections. They also suggest that poor responsiveness to IL-2 is a property of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells of progressors that is not shared with responses to other viruses over which immunologic control is maintained.
Journal of Virology 02/2009; 83(6):2728-42. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Virus-specific CD8+ T cells probably mediate control over HIV replication in rare individuals, termed long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs) or elite controllers. Despite extensive investigation, the mechanisms responsible for this control remain incompletely understood. We observed that HIV-specific CD8+ T cells of LTNPs persisted at higher frequencies than those of treated progressors with equally low amounts of HIV. Measured on a per-cell basis, HIV-specific CD8+ T cells of LTNPs efficiently eliminated primary autologous HIV-infected CD4+ T cells. This function required lytic granule loading of effectors and delivery of granzyme B to target cells. Defective cytotoxicity of progressor effectors could be restored after treatment with phorbol ester and calcium ionophore. These results establish an effector function and mechanism that clearly segregate with immunologic control of HIV. They also demonstrate that lytic granule contents of memory cells are a critical determinant of cytotoxicity that must be induced for maximal per-cell killing capacity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acquisition of T cell responses during primary CMV infection in lung transplant recipients (LTRs) appear critical for host defense and allograft durability, with increased mortality in donor+/recipient- (D+R-) individuals. In 15 D+R- LTRs studied, acute primary CMV infection was characterized by viremia in the presence or absence of pneumonitis, with viral loads higher in the lung airways/allograft compared with the blood. A striking influx of CD8+ T cells into the lung airways/allograft was observed, with inversion of the CD4+:CD8+ T cell ratio. De novo CMV-specific CD8+ effector frequencies in response to pooled peptides of pp65 were strikingly higher in lung mononuclear cells compared with the PBMC and predominated over IE1-specific responses and CD4+ effector responses in both compartments. The frequencies of pp65-specific cytokine responses were significantly higher in lung mononuclear cells compared with PBMC and demonstrated marked contraction with long-term persistence of effector memory CD8+ T cells in the lung airways following primary infection. CMV-tetramer+CD8+ T cells from PBMC were CD45RA- during viremia and transitioned to CD45RA+ following resolution. In contrast, CMV-specific CD8+ effectors in the lung airways/allograft maintained a CD45RA- phenotype during transition from acute into chronic infection. Together, these data reveal differential CMV-specific CD8+ effector frequencies, immunodominance, and polyfunctional cytokine responses predominating in the lung airways/allograft compared with the blood during acute primary infection. Moreover, we show intercompartmental phenotypic differences in CMV-specific memory responses during the transition to chronic infection.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2008; 181(1):546-56. · 5.52 Impact Factor