Effect of HIV vertical transmission on the ontogeny of T cell antigens involved in the regulation of humoral immune response

D. Brugnoni, A. Soresina, P. Airo, A. G. Ugazio, L. D. Notarangelo, R. Cattaneo, M. Duse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV infection causes progressive impairment of humoral immunity, including defective specific antibody production. To evaluate whether vertical HIV infection interferes with the expression on CD4+ lymphocytes of developmentally regulated molecules, that play a crucial role in the generation of immunological memory (CD45 isoforms) and in attainment of antibody responses (CD40L), 22 HIV-infected children and 36 seroreverted children born to HIV+ mothers were studied. The percentage of CD40L+ PBMC after activation in vitro with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) plus ionomycin was lower in HIV-infected children than in controls (P <0.004). This correlated with the depletion of CD4+ lymphocytes (r = 0.75; P <0.001). CD40L expression rose progressively with age (r = 0.36; P = 0.03) in seroreverted children, but not in HIV-infected children, suggesting that while in normal children in vivo antigen stimulation results in progressive attainment of CD40L expression (and thus to effective T-B cell cooperation), this process is largely defective in HIV-infected children, contributing to the genesis of humoral immune deficiency. The proportion of CD4+ cells bearing the CD45RO isoform was increased among HIV-infected infants during the first years of life. However, the percentage of CD4+ CD45RO+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) progressively increased with age in controls (r = 0.69; P = 0.03), but not in HIV-infected children, showing that while vertical transmission of HIV does not prevent CD45RO expression early in life, it is associated with a disturbance of the physiological process of antigen priming, contributing to poor immunological memory to T cell-dependent antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • CD40L
  • CD45 isoform
  • HIV children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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