Apoptosis has been suggested as one of the major mechanisms of CD4 + T cell depletion during the course of HIV type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Here, we show that interleukin 7 (IL-7), a nonredundant cytokine that plays essential roles in the generation and homeostasis of the T cell compartment of the immune system, exerts strong antiapoptotic effects ex vivo on both CD4 + and CD8+ T cells derived from HIV-1-infected subjects. The level of IL-7-mediated reduction of apoptosis was inversely correlated with the number of circulating CD4+ T cells, indicating a higher sensitivity to IL-7 effects in patients with more advanced disease. The antiapoptotic effect of IL-7 was uncoupled from the induction of cellular proliferation or endogenous HIV-1 replication. These results provide a further rationale for consideration of IL-7 as an agent of immune reconstitution in HIV-1 infection.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 13 2007|
- Immune reconstitution
- Programmed cell death
- T lymphocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas