Massive activation of immune cells with an intact t cell repertoire in acute human immunodeficiency virus syndrome

Andrea Cossarizza, Claudio Ortolani, Cristina Mussini, Vanni Borghi, Giovanni Guaraldi, Nicola Mongiardo, Enrica Bellesia, Maria Grazia Franceschini, Bruno De Rienzo, Claudio Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 8 patients with symptomatic, acute primary infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a dramatic and persistent decrease in CD4+ lymphocytes was seen, accompanied by a marked increase in activated/memory CD8+ T cells (CD38+CD45RO+HLA-DR+with high amounts of cell adhesion molecules), which represented most circulating lymphocytes, but no gross alterations in Vγ T cell repertoire. Extremely high plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines were observed. Three patients were followed for 2-3 years: The number of CD4+ cells, extremely low at first, increased significantly in a few months but decreased rapidly after a short stable period. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes bearing markers of immunologic activation/memory could play an important role in the earliest phases of the disease. It remains to be established how such a dramatic onset could determine the rapid progression of the infection that seems characteristic of patients with acute HIV syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume172
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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