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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Oct 1 2007|
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