Interferon-alpha administration enhances CD8+ T cell activation in HIV infection.

TitleInterferon-alpha administration enhances CD8+ T cell activation in HIV infection.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsManion M, Rodriguez B, Medvik K, Hardy G, Harding CV, Schooley RT, Pollard R, Asmuth D, Murphy R, Barker E, Brady KE, Landay A, Funderburg N, Sieg SF, Lederman MM
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2012
KeywordsAdult, Antiviral Agents, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Cycle, Female, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, Interferon-alpha, Killer Cells, Natural, Lymphocyte Activation, Male, Middle Aged, Viral Load

BACKGROUND: Type I interferons play important roles in innate immune defense. In HIV infection, type I interferons may delay disease progression by inhibiting viral replication while at the same time accelerating disease progression by contributing to chronic immune activation.

METHODS: To investigate the effects of type I interferons in HIV-infection, we obtained cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from 10 subjects who participated in AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study 5192, a trial investigating the activity of systemic administration of IFNα for twelve weeks to patients with untreated HIV infection. Using flow cytometry, we examined changes in cell cycle status and expression of activation antigens by circulating T cells and their maturation subsets before, during and after IFNα treatment.

RESULTS: The proportion of CD38+HLA-DR+CD8+ T cells increased from a mean of 11.7% at baseline to 24.1% after twelve weeks of interferon treatment (p = 0.006). These frequencies dropped to an average of 20.1% six weeks after the end of treatment. In contrast to CD8+ T cells, the frequencies of activated CD4+ T cells did not change with administration of type I interferon (mean percentage of CD38+DR+ cells = 2.62% at baseline and 2.17% after 12 weeks of interferon therapy). As plasma HIV levels fell with interferon therapy, this was correlated with a "paradoxical" increase in CD8+ T cell activation (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Administration of type I interferon increased expression of the activation markers CD38 and HLA DR on CD8+ T cells but not on CD4+ T cells of HIV+ persons. These observations suggest that type I interferons may contribute to the high levels of CD8+ T cell activation that occur during HIV infection.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID22291932
PubMed Central IDPMC3265460
Grant List1U01-AI068636 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
1U01-AI069432 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
1U01-AI069471 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
1U01-AI069484 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
AI 068636 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
AI 36219 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
K99 HL108743 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI065361 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States