Greater Expansion of IFN-γ CD4+ NKT Cells in HIV-1 Compared with HIV-2-Infected Subjects with Preserved CD4+ T Cell Counts


Context: Human Natural Killer T cells are T lymphocytes that express an invariant αβ T cells receptors and NK cells receptors. They regulate innate and adaptive immune response but are susceptible to HIV-1 infection. Objective: We compare the frequency and the activity of NKT cells in HIV-1 and HIV-2 infected individuals with CD4+ counts greater than 500/mm3 using flow cytometry after overnight stimulation with phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Results: The frequency of NKT cells was similar between both groups and also to sero-negative control subjects. There were also no significant differences in the proportions of total NKT cells and the CD4+ NKT subset that secreted interferon gamma (IFN-γ) after polyclonal stimulation. However, there was a significantly higher frequency of IFN-γ CD4+ NKT cells in HIV-1-infected compared with HIV-2 infected subjects (p = 0.043). Conclusion: These data suggest there is no relationship between the functional activity of NKT cell subsets and the total NKT cell population in HIV infection. The expansion of IFN-γ CD4+ NKT cells in HIV-1 infection may serve as target for viral infection and may eventually result in their depletion during chronic infection.

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S. V. Nuvor, H. Whittle, S. Rowland-Jones and A. Jaye, "Greater Expansion of IFN-γ CD4+ NKT Cells in HIV-1 Compared with HIV-2-Infected Subjects with Preserved CD4+ T Cell Counts," World Journal of AIDS, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2012, pp. 103-108. doi: 10.4236/wja.2012.22014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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