Objective: To identify crucial immunological characteristics of a group of patients, defined ´CD4-exploders´, who were able to fully reconstitute their immune system after receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Patients: Among a population of 540 HIV-positive patients treated with HAART, six individuals were identified who experienced a nadir of less than 85 X 10(6) CD4+ cells/l, had major opportunistic infections (four out of six), started HAART in 1996 or 1997, and showed a rapid and relevant CD4+ lymphocyte increase (mainly due to virgin cells), in some cases regardless of virological control. Methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the determination of interleukin (IL)-7 plasma levels; flow cytometry to analyse surface antigens and CD127 (IL-7 receptor alpha-chain) expression; quantitative-competitive (QC) PCR for detecting cells containing T-cell receptor rearrangement excision circles (TREC) chest-computed tomography (CT) to analyse thymus volume and content. Results: In ´CD4-exploders´, high levels of TREC+ lymphocytes were found among CD4+ T cells, which also contained a high percentage of naive cells. However, CT revealed a dramatic depletion of intrathymic lymphoid tissue. Plasma levels of IL-7 were significantly high. Most CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes expressed CD127, whose level was similar to that of healthy donors. CD127 expression on CD8+ lymphocytes was markedly higher than in HIV-positive individuals treated with the same therapy or in patients with AIDS. Conclusion: In ´CD4-exploders´, HAART-incluced reconstitution of the T-cell compartment is independent from thymus volume, and is favoured by the upregulation of the IL-7/IL-7 receptor system.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Titolo:||Features of 'CD4-exploders', HIV-positive patients with an optimal immune reconstitution after potent antiretroviral therapy|
|Autori:||Mussini C; Pinti M; Borghi V; Nasi M; Amorico G; Monterastelli E; Moretti L; Troiano L; Esposito R; Cossarizza A.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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