T-lymphocyte maturation abnormalities in uninfected newborns and children with vertical exposure to HIV

M. Clerici, M. Saresella, F. Colombo, S. Fossati, N. Sala, D. Bricalli, M. L. Villa, P. Ferrante, L. Dally, A. Vigano

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Cell-mediated immunity and T-lymphocyte maturation are impaired in HIV-infected children. These abnormalities would be detected in HIV-uninfected offspring of HIV women (seroreverters [SR]) if HIV or its soluble proteins could cross the placental barrier. Immunophenotypic analyses were performed in 20 healthy HIV-uninfected newborns of HIV-infected mothers (SR), and in 14 healthy newborns of HIV-negative women (UC). The same analyses were performed in 3 groups of older children: SR (n = 41); UC (n = 15); and HIV-infected children (n = 25). Antigen-specific cells were evaluated with ELISpot and fluorimetric analyses; IL-7 serum concentration was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results showed that in SR newborns: (1) the CD4/CD8 ratio was reduced, (2) CD4+ and CD8+ naive T-cell percentages were decreased, (3) percentage of activated CD8+ T cells was increased, and (4) percentages of CD3+/4-/8- (DN) and DN/25-/44+ were augmented. These abnormalities were partially retained in older SR children. CD4+ and CD8+ HIV-specific cells were detected in a portion of newborn SRs but not in older SRs. Serum IL-7 was augmented both in newborn and older SRs. Cell-mediated immunity and T-cell maturation are altered even in HIV-uninfected newborns of HIV-infected mothers; these abnormalities persist over time. The biologic significance of these observations and potential subsequent clinical events should be investigated in larger cohorts of seroreverters. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3866-3871
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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