Memory CD4+ T-lymphocyte loss and dysfunction during primary simian immunodeficiency virus infection.
It has long been appreciated that CD4+ T lymphocytes are dysfunctional in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected individuals, and it has recently been shown that HIV/SIV infections are associated with a dramatic early destruction of memory CD4+ T lymphocytes. However, the relative contributions of CD4+ T-lymphocyte dysfunction and loss to immune dysregulation during primary HIV/SIV infection have not been fully elucidated. In the current study, we evaluated CD4+ T lymphocytes and their functional repertoire during primary SIVmac251 infection in rhesus monkeys. We show that the extent of loss of memory CD4+ T lymphocytes and staphylococcal enterotoxin B-stimulated cytokine production by total CD4+ T lymphocytes during primary SIVmac251 infection is tightly linked in a cohort of six rhesus monkeys to set point plasma viral RNA levels, with greater loss and dysfunction being associated with higher steady-state viral replication. Moreover, in exploring the mechanism underlying this phenomenon, we demonstrate that the loss of functional CD4+ T lymphocytes during primary SIVmac251 infection is associated with both a selective depletion of memory CD4+ T cells and a loss of the functional capacity of the memory CD4+ T lymphocytes that escape viral destruction.
Sun, Y; Permar, SR; Buzby, AP; Letvin, NL
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