Live attenuated lentivirus infection elicits polyfunctional simian immunodeficiency virus Gag-specific CD8+ T cells with reduced apoptotic susceptibility in rhesus macaques that control virus replication after challenge with pathogenic SIVmac239

Meritxell Genescà, Tracy Rourke, Jun Li, Kristen Bost, Barinderpaul Chohan, Michael B. McChesney, Chris J Miller

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39 Scopus citations


HIV-specific CD8+ T cells that secrete multiple cytokines in response to Ag stimulation are associated with the control of virus replication during chronic HIV infection. To determine whether the presence of polyfunctional CD8+ T cell responses distinguishes protected and unprotected monkeys in a live attenuated lentivirus model, SIV Gag peptide-specific CD8+ T cell responses of simian HIV (SHIV) 89.6-vaccinated, SIVmac239-challenged rhesus macaques were compared in two monkeys that controlled challenge virus replication and two that did not. The ratio of Bcl-2+ Gag-specific CD8+ T cells to caspase-3+ Gag-specific CD8+ T cells was higher in the vaccinated-protected animals compared with unprotected monkeys. In addition, polyfunctional SIV-specific CD8+ T cells were consistently detected through 12 wk postchallenge in the protected animals but not in the unprotected animals. In the unprotected monkeys, there was an increased frequency of CD8+ T cells expressing markers associated with effector memory T cells. Further, there was increased annexin V expression in central memory T cells of the unprotected animals before challenge. Thus, monkeys that control viral replication after live attenuated SHIV infection have polyfunctional SIV-specific CD8+ T cells with an increased survival potential. Importantly, the differences in the nature of the SIV-specific CD8+ T cell response in the protected and unprotected animals are present during acute stages postchallenge, before different antigenic levels are established. Thus, the polyfunctional capacity and increased survival potential of CD8+ SIV-specific T cells may account for live attenuated, SHIV89.6-mediated protection from uncontrolled SIV replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4732-4740
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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