Characteristics of the specific cell-mediated immune response in human immunodeficiency virus infection.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific lymphocyte proliferation response was determined for 40 persons at different stages of HIV infection. The specific response to purified HIV virion antigens from strain HTLV-IIIB was poor, occurred in only 9 of the 40 subjects, was not improved with the addition of interleukin-2, and was more frequent in symptom-free individuals (46%) than in patients with lymphadenopathy syndrome (10%). Reactivity to subcomponent p24 was better than that to whole HIV; reactivity was present in five of six infected persons and increased with the addition of exogenous interleukin-2. Reactivities to subcomponents (g)p41 and gp120 were also measured. This is the first evidence of a specific cell-mediated immune response to HIV antigen in HIV-infected persons. Monkeys immunized with purified HIV or with purified p24 displayed cellular immunoreactivity both to whole HIV and to subcomponents. In contrast to the poor reactivity to HIV antigen, the lymphocytes of the patients had good specific cell proliferation responses to cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus challenge and a normal response to the addition of phytohemagglutinin. The results suggest a functional defect in peripheral lymphocytes of some HIV-infected individuals on the basis of their response to whole HIV antigen and a better response to gag protein.
Wahren, B; Morfeldt-Månsson, L; Biberfeld, G; Moberg, L; Sönnerborg, A; Ljungman, P; Werner, A; Kurth, R; Gallo, R; Bolognesi, D
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