CD4+CD8+ T cells represent a significant portion of the anti-HIV T cell response to acute HIV infection.
Previous studies have revealed that HIV-infected individuals possess circulating CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive (DP) T cells specific for HIV Ags. In the present study, we analyzed the proliferation and functional profile of circulating DP T cells from 30 acutely HIV-infected individuals and 10 chronically HIV-infected viral controllers. The acutely infected group had DP T cells that showed more proliferative capability and multifunctionality than did both their CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. DP T cells were found to exhibit greater proliferation and higher multifunctionality compared with CD4 T cells in the viral controller group. The DP T cell response represented 16% of the total anti-HIV proliferative response and >70% of the anti-HIV multifunctional response in the acutely infected subjects. Proliferating DP T cells of the acutely infected subjects responded to all HIV Ag pools with equal magnitude. Conversely, the multifunctional response was focused on the pool representing Nef, Rev, Tat, VPR, and VPU. Meanwhile, the controllers' DP T cells focused on Gag and the Nef, Rev, Tat, VPR, and VPU pool for both their proliferative and multifunctional responses. Finally, we show that the presence of proliferating DP T cells following all HIV Ag stimulations is well correlated with proliferating CD4 T cells whereas multifunctionality appears to be largely independent of multifunctionality in other T cell compartments. Therefore, DP T cells represent a highly reactive cell population during acute HIV infection, which responds independently from the traditional T cell compartments.
Frahm, MA; Picking, RA; Kuruc, JD; McGee, KS; Gay, CL; Eron, JJ; Hicks, CB; Tomaras, GD; Ferrari, G
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