Direct measurement of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to CMV in HIV-1-infected subjects.
Komanduri KV., Donahoe SM., Moretto WJ., Schmidt DK., Gillespie G., Ogg GS., Roederer M., Nixon DF., McCune JM.
Data from murine models of chronic viral infection suggest that CD4+ T-cell responses to viral pathogens are important in sustaining the number and/or function of CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) effectors. In this study, we used cytokine flow cytometry (CFC), staining with HLA-A*0201-peptide tetramers, and peptide stimulation with epitopic peptides to study functional CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to cytomegalovirus (CMV) in human subjects coinfected with CMV and the human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1). We show that strong CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to CMV antigens are sustained over time in HIV-1-infected individuals. Those who maintain a strong CD4+ T-cell response to CMV are also likely to maintain higher frequencies of CD8+ T cells capable of binding to HLA-A*0201-CMV pp65 (A2-pp65) tetramers as well as responses to pp65 peptide stimulation with effector cytokine production. These data support the hypothesis that declines in frequencies of CD4+ T-cell responses to CMV are associated with an inability to sustain high levels of CMV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in HIV-1-infected subjects. These declines may precede the onset of CMV-associated end organ disease.