Anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) CD8+ T-lymphocyte reactivity during combination antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1-infected patients with advanced immunodeficiency

Charles R. Rinaldo, Xiao Li Huang, Zheng Fan, Joseph B. Margolick, Luann Borowski, Aki Hoji, Christine Kalinyak, Deborah K. Mcmahon, Sharon A. Riddler, William H. Hildebrand, Richard B. Day, John W. Mellors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The long-term efficacy of combination antiretroviral therapy may relate to augmentation of anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) CD8+ T- cell responses. We found that prolonged treatment of late-stage HIV-1- infected patients with a protease inhibitor and two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors failed to restore sustained, high levels of HIV-1- specific, HLA class I-restricted, cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte precursors and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production by CD8+ T cells. In some patients, particularly those initiating three-drug combination therapy simultaneously rather than sequentially, there were early, transient increases in the frequency of anti-HIV-1 CD8+ T cells that correlated with decreases in HIV-1 RNA and increases in T-cell counts. In the other patients, HIV-1-specific T- cell functions either failed to increase or declined from baseline during triple-drug therapy, even though some of these patients showed suppression of plasma HIV-1 RNA. These effects of combination therapy were not unique to HIV-1 specific T-cell responses, since similar effects were noted for CD8+ T cells specific for the cytomegalovirus pp65 matrix protein. The level and breadth of CD8+ cell reactivity to HLA A*02 HIV-1 epitopes, as determined by IFN-γ production and HLA tetramer staining after combination therapy, were related to the corresponding responses prior to treatment. There was, however, a stable, residual population of potentially immunocompetent HIV-1- specific T cells remaining after therapy, as shown by tetramer staining of CD8+ CD45RO+ cells. These results indicate that new strategies will be needed to target residual, immunocompetent HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells to enhance the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy in patients with advanced immunodeficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4127-4138
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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