Down-regulation of the initial burst of viremia during primary HIV infection is thought to be mediated predominantly by HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and the appearance of this response is associated with major perturbations of the T cell receptor repertoire. Changes in the T cell receptor repertoire of virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes were analyzed in patients with primary infection to understand the failure of the cellular immune response to control viral spread and replication. This analysis demonstrated that a significant number of HIV-specific T cell clones involved in the primary immune response rapidly disappeared. The disappearance was not the result of mutations in the virus epitopes recognized by these clones. Evidence is provided that phenomena such as high-dose tolerance or clonal exhaustion might be involved in the disappearance of these monoclonally expanded HIV-specific cytotoxic T cell clones. These findings should provide insights into how HIV, and possibly other viruses, elude the host immune response during primary infection.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
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