Perturbation of the natural killer cell compartment during primary human immunodeficiency virus 1 infection primarily involving the CD56bright subset

Paola Mantegani, Giuseppe Tambussi, Laura Galli, Chiara Tassan Din, Adriano Lazzarin, Claudio Fortis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigated the distribution of natural killer (NK) cell subsets, their activating and inhibitory receptors, and their cytolytic potential, in primary human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected (PHI) individuals at baseline and during 1 year of follow-up with or without antiretroviral therapy, and compared the results with those obtained in treatment-naïve, chronically HIV-infected (CHI) individuals, and HIV-seronegative (HN) healthy individuals. The proportion of the CD56dim and CD56bright subsets decreased with disease progression, whereas that of the CD56- CD16+ subset increased. In the CD56dim subset, the proportion of cells with natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs) decreased with disease progression, and their cytolytic potential was reduced. Conversely, the CD56bright subset was characterized by a high proportion of NCR-positive, killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR)-positive NKG2A + cells in both CHI and PHI individuals, which was associated with an increase in their cytolytic potential. During the 1 year of follow-up, the PHI individuals with high viraemia levels and low CD4+ T-cell counts who received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had a similar proportion of NK subsets to CHI individuals, while patients with low viraemia levels and high CD4+ T-cell counts who remained untreated had values similar to those of the HN individuals. Our results indicate a marked perturbation of the NK cell compartment during HIV-1 infection that is multifaceted, starts early and is progressive, primarily involves the CD56bright subset, and is partially corrected by effective HAART.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-233
Number of pages14
JournalImmunology
Volume129
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Activation
  • Cell surface molecules
  • Flow cytometry/fluorescence-activated cell sorting
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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