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Volume 6 Supplement 3

AIDS Vaccine 2009

S03-05 OA. A less differentiated memory phenotype of Gag-specific CD4+ T-cells during primary HIV infection associates with viral control at 12 months

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Background

This work investigates the association of CD4+ T-cell activation and memory maturation during primary HIV infection with viral control during the first year of infection. We hypothesize that an early accumulation of central/transitional memory CD4 cells associates with succeeding viral control.

Methods

We examined a cohort of 15 subtype C HIV-infected subjects identified during primary HIV-1 infection (PHI). Polychromatic flow cytometry was used to simultaneously analyze activation and memory maturation profiles in total and antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. Isolated PBMC from each subject were stimulated for 6 h with Gag, CMV (pp65) or Ad5 Hexon peptide pools and labeled with a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies to CD3, CD4, CD8, CD45RO, CD27, HLA-DR, CD38, Ki-67, IFNγ and IL-2.

Results

Our results show that HIV Gag-specific CD4+ T-cells are characterized by high level of activation that is not observed total memory or non-HIV specific cells. The frequency of central/transitional memory (CD27+CD45RO+) CD4+ T cells expressing CD38+HLA-DR+Ki67+ was significantly higher on Gag-specific compared to total memory CD4+ cells (p = 0.0392) at 3 months post infection. The frequency of these cells negatively correlated with viral load (r = -0.65, p = 0.021) at 12 months. Conversely, activated Gag-specific effector memory (CD27-CD45RO+) CD4+ T-cells at 3 months positively correlated with viral load (r = 0.63, p = 0.028) at 12 months.

Conclusion

These data show that activated and less differentiated Gag-specific memory CD4+ T-cells during PHI may play a key role in control of vireamia during the first year of infection.

Author information

Correspondence to PW Maenetje.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Maenetje, P., Casazza, J., Riou, C. et al. S03-05 OA. A less differentiated memory phenotype of Gag-specific CD4+ T-cells during primary HIV infection associates with viral control at 12 months. Retrovirology 6, O44 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4690-6-S3-O44

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Keywords

  • Peptide
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Viral Load
  • Effector Memory
  • Post Infection