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Volume 9 Supplement 2

AIDS Vaccine 2012

Control of HIV-1 by multiple immunodominant HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells in HIV-1-infected Japanese individuals

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Previous studies of the comprehensive analysis of HIV-1-specific CTL responses in Caucasian and African cohorts demonstrated the association of the CTL responses to HIV-1 Gag protein with the control of HIV-1 replication. However, such analysis in Asian cohorts has not been reported. In the present study, we performed the comprehensive analysis of CD8+ T cell responses against 11-mer overlapping HIV-1 Nef, Gag, and Pol peptides in 401 chronically HIV-1 clade B-infected treatment-naive Japanese individuals.


The CD8+ T cell responses to cocktails of the peptides were evaluated by measuring IFN-g-producing CD8+T cells by using ELISPOT assay.


To clarify CTLs which control HIV-1 infection in this cohort, we statistically analyzed differences of viral load and CD4 counts between responders to each peptide cocktail in each HLA+ individuals and non-responders using two-tailed Mann-Whitney’s test. We found that several HLA alleles were significantly correlated with low viral load and high CD4 counts in the responses to 5 Nef, 10 Gag, or 16 Pol cocktails. In these cocktails, we identified 2 Nef, 12 Gag and 7 Pol CTL epitopes restricted by 9 HLA alleles. The breadth of CTL responses to these epitopes was significantly associated with low viral load (p=1.7x10-10) and high CD4 counts (p=4.1x10-13). The total magnitude of responses to the epitopes was also significantly correlated with low viral load (r=-0.30, p=1.8x10-9) and high CD4 counts (r=0.37, p=5.0x10-14).


These results suggest that the CTL responses to these epitopes play an important role in the control of HIV-1 infection in chronically HIV-1-infected Japanese individuals.

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Correspondence to H Murakoshi.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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About this article


  • ELISPOT Assay
  • Japanese Individual
  • Asian Cohort
  • African Cohort
  • Peptide Cocktail