Changes in t and non-t lymphocyte subsets following seroconversion to hiv-1: Stable cd3+ and declining cd3 populations suggest regulatory responses linked to loss of cd4 lymphocytes

Joseph B. Margolick, Albert D. Donnenberg, Alvaro Muñoz, Lawrence P. Park, Kenneth D. Bauer, Janis V. Giorgi, John Ferbas, Alfred J. Saah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigated changes in lymphocyte subsets (total, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, as well as non-T cells) associated with human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) seroconversion in 321 homosexual or bisexual men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). These subjects had serial lymphocyte characterizations for up to 4 years before and 5 years after seroconversion. CD4+ lymphocyte levels declined rapidly in the first 18 months following seroconversion and less rapidly thereafter, while CD8 lymphocytes increased with similar kinetics. In contrast, total T (CD3+) lymphocytes declined only slightly in the first 18 months following seroconversion, and then remained stable. These results support the hypothesis of physiologic regulation of the total number of circulating T cells, such that lost CD4+ lymphocytes are replaced by newly generated CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes; over time, continued loss of CD4+ lymphocytes due to HIV-1 infection would result in net replacement of lost CD4+ lymphocytes with CD8+ lymphocytes. Non-T (CD3) lymphocytes also declined after seroconversion, and this decline paralleled that of CD4+ lymphocytes. Thus, changes in both T and non-T lymphocytes after HIV-1 seroconversion may reflect the operation of homeostatic or regulatory mechanisms. Whether these mechanisms contribute to the development of immune deficiency requires further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes
Volume6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

Keywords

  • CD4 lymphocytes
  • HIV-1 seroconversion
  • Lymphocyte regulation
  • Lymphocyte subsets
  • Non-T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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