Reconstitution of Long-Term T Helper Cell Function after Zidovudine Therapy in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients

Mario Clerici, Alan L. Landay, Harold A. Kessler, John P. Phair, David J. Venzon, Craig W. Hendrix, Daniel R. Lucey, Gene M. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 12 asymptomatic patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and 4 patients with AIDS were analyzed before and during therapy with zidovudine for T helper cell (Th) function. Th function improved by more than fourfold to one or more of three stimuli tested in 9 (75%) of 12 asymptomatic patients on zidovudine therapy and in 3 of 4 patients with AIDS. Only 6 (7.4%) of 80 untreated HIV-infected control patients showed spontaneous improvement in Th function (P < 10-6). Improved Th function was detected as early as 5 weeks into therapy in 6 patients and continued to be evident for >1 year after start of therapy in 6 patients and for >2 years in 2 patients. No correlation was observed between improved Th function and changes in CD4+ or CD8+ cell numbers or in levels of serum HIV p24 antigen or β2-microglobulin. These results suggest inclusion of in vitro Th function as a useful marker in determining the efficacy of antiretroviral drug therapy of HIV-infected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-730
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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