Differential Regulatory T Cell Activity in HIV Type 1-Exposed Seronegative Individuals.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


AIDS research and human retroviruses, Volume 29, Issue 10, p.1321-9 (2013)


2013, Center-Authored Paper, Genomics Core Facility, July 2013, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division


Abstract The potential role of conventional and regulatory T cells (Tregs) in protection from HIV-1 infection remains unclear. To address this question, we analyzed samples from 129 HIV-1-exposed seronegative individuals (HESN) from an HIV-1-serodiscordant couples cohort. To assess the presence of HIV-specific T cell responses and Treg function, we measured the proliferation of T cells in response to HIV-1 peptide pools in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and PBMCs depleted of Tregs. We identified HIV-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses and, surprisingly, the overall CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell response rate was not increased when Tregs were removed from cell preparations. Of the 20 individuals that had HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T cell responses, only eight had Tregs that could suppress this proliferation. When compared with individuals whose Tregs could suppress HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T cell proliferation, individuals with Tregs unable to suppress showed a trend toward increased T cell activation and Treg frequency and a significant increase in HIV-1-specific production of microphage inflammatory protein-1β (MIP-1β) by CD4(+) T cells, autocrine production of which has been shown to be protective in terms of HIV-1 infection of CD4(+) T cells.