Detection of HIV-1 specific T cell immune responses in Highly HIV Exposed Uninfected individuals by in vitro DC coculture

Detection of HIV-1 specific T cell immune responses in Highly HIV Exposed Uninfected individuals by in vitro DC coculture

Online publication: 17/07/2015 Journal: AIDS

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:

Although virus-specific responses are rarely detected by conventional approaches, we report here the detection of T-cell responses in HIV-exposed seronegative (HESN) patients by two distinct assays.

METHODS:

HIV-specific T-cell responses were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunospot in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HESN patients after a 48-h co-culture with boosted dendritic cells. Additionally, a boosted flow cytometry approach was used to capture antiviral T-cell responses. Host genetic factors and T-cell activation were also analyzed to assess their implication on HIV exposure.

RESULTS:

Of the 45 HESN individuals tested, up to 11 (24.4%) showed at least one response to peptide pools covering HIV Gag and Nef. A positive correlation was observed between the intensity (P = 0.0022) and magnitude (P = 0.0174) of the response detected in the HESN, and the viral load of the HIV-positive partner. Moreover, the result from the boosted flow and cytomix analyses showed a dominant Th1-like response pattern against HIV antigens, especially in CD8 T-cell populations.

CONCLUSIONS:

The combined use of our boosted dendritic cell technique with a boosted flow cytometric approach allows us both to detect specific HIV-positive responses in a higher percentage of HESN patients and to define specific effector function profiles. This study contributes to a better understanding of resistance to HIV infection.

Authors: Alberto C. Guardo, Marta Ruiz-Riol, E. Fernández, M.J. Maleno, M.E. Bargalló, A. León, N. Climent, F. García, J.M. Gatell, Christian Brander, Montserrat Plana.

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