Human T lymphocytes have been shown to express inhibitory natural killer cell receptors (NKR), which can down-regulate T cell antigen receptor- mediated T cell function, including cytolytic activity. In the present study, we demonstrate that CD3+NKR+ cells can be identified in HIV-infected patients. HIV-specific cytolytic activity was analyzed in five patients in whom autologous lymphoblastoid B cell lines could be derived as a source of autologous target cells. Phytohemagglutinin-activated T cell populations that had been cultured in interleukin 2 displayed HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity against HIV env, gag, pol, and Nef in 3 of 5 patients. Addition of anti-NKR mAb of IgM isotype could increase the specific CTL activity. Moreover, in one additional patient, HIV-specific CTL activity was undetectable; however, after addition of anti-NKR mAb such CTL activity appeared de novo. Similar results were obtained by analysis of CD3+NKR+ clones derived from two patients. These data provide direct evidence that CD3+NKR+ cells may include antigen (HIV)-specific CTLs and that mAb- mediated masking of inhibitory NKR may revert the down-regulation of CTL function.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
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