Suppression of HIV replication in the resting CD4(+) T cell reservoir by autologous CD8(+) T cells: Implications for the development of therapeutic strategies
PublisherThe National Academy of Sciences
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DescriptionCD8(+) T cell-mediated antiviral activity against HIV has been described consistently in infected individuals; however, the role of this activity in controlling replication of HIV in the latently infected, resting CD4(+) T cell reservoir is unclear. By using an ex vivo system, we show that replication of HIV in this viral reservoir is effectively suppressed in coculture by autologous CD8(+) T cells in long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs) and in patients whose viremia was controlled by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), but not in therapy-naive patients who had substantial levels of plasma viremia. This antiviral activity was largely independent of cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes (CTL). When the role of soluble CD8(+) T cell-derived factors was examined, we found that CC-chemokines played a major role in inhibition of viral replication in the latent viral reservoir in some LTNPs and patients receiving HAART, but not in chronically infected patients who were not receiving antiretroviral therapy. Potent antiviral activity, independent of CC-chemokines, was found mainly in patients in whom HAART was initiated shortly after the acute phase of HIV infection. These results indicate that CD8(+) T cells provide potent suppressive activity against HIV replication in the latent viral reservoir via direct cellular contact in patients who are naturally LTNPs or in those who are treated with HAART. Furthermore, the profound antiviral activity exerted by non-CC-chemokine soluble factors in infected patients who began HAART early in HIV infection suggests that preservation of this HIV-suppressive mechanism by early initiation of therapy may play an important role in the containment of viral replication in infected patients following interruption of therapy.
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