Background: Suppression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication can be obtained in chronically infected individuals by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and can also be observed in antiretroviral-naive patients. The immunological correlates of these two situations were examined. Design and methods: Cross-sectional study involving 32 HIV-infected patients with undetectable HIV plasma viraemia (<500 copies/ml) and either antiretroviral-naive (n = 14) or undergoing HAART therapy with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) plus one (n = 13) or two (n = 5) protease inhibitors (PI). CD4 counts, disease duration, and CDC clinical stage were comparable between the two groups of individuals. Immune parameters (antigen- and mitogen-stimulated proliferation and cytokine production; cytokine mRNA; β chemokine production; HIV coreceptors mRNA) were analysed in all patients. Results: Results showed immune profiles to be profoundly different in antiretroviral-naive in comparison with HAART-treated patients. Thus: (1) T-cell proliferation to HIV-specific and HIV-unrelated antigens is potent in antiretroviral-naive but suppressed in HAART-treated individuals; (2) interleukin-(IL)2, IL-12 and interferon gamma (IFNγ) production is robust in naive patients; and (3) a high CCR5/low CXCR4 pattern of HIV coreceptors-specific mRNA is observed in naive but not in HAART-treated patients. In contrast with these observations, no clear differences were detected when β chemokine production by either peripheral blood mononuclear cells or purified CD8+ T-cells was analysed. Results from HAART-treated patients undergoing therapy with one PI and two NRTI or two PI and two NRTI were in very close agreement. Conclusions: These data suggest that control over HIV replication can be independently achieved by pharmacological or immunologic means. HAART is associated with weaker HIV-specific and -non-specific immune responses. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
- Highly active antiretroviral therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy