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CD8-mediated virus inhibition can be detected in HIV-1-positive subjects who naturally control virus replication. Characterizing the inhibitory function of CD8(+) T cells during acute HIV-1 infection (AHI) can elucidate the nature of the CD8(+) responses that can be rapidly elicited and that contribute to virus control. We examined the timing and HIV-1 antigen specificity of antiviral CD8(+) T cells during AHI. Autologous and heterologous CD8(+) T cell antiviral functions were assessed longitudinally during AHI in five donors from the CHAVI 001 cohort using a CD8(+) T cell-mediated virus inhibition assay (CD8 VIA) and transmitted/founder (T/F) viruses. Potent CD8(+) antiviral responses against heterologous T/F viruses appeared during AHI at the first time point sampled in each of the 5 donors (Fiebig stages 1/2 to 5). Inhibition of an autologous T/F virus was durable to 48 weeks; however, inhibition of heterologous responses declined concurrent with the resolution of viremia. HIV-1 viruses from 6 months postinfection were more resistant to CD8(+)-mediated virus inhibition than cognate T/F viruses, demonstrating that the virus escapes early from CD8(+) T cell-mediated inhibition of virus replication. CD8(+) T cell antigen-specific subsets mediated inhibition of T/F virus replication via soluble components, and these soluble responses were stimulated by peptide pools that include epitopes that were shown to drive HIV-1 escape during AHI. These data provide insights into the mechanisms of CD8-mediated virus inhibition and suggest that functional analyses will be important for determining whether similar antigen-specific virus inhibition can be induced by T cell-directed vaccine strategies.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/JVI.00437-12

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Virol

Publication Date

06/2012

Volume

86

Pages

6835 - 6846

Keywords

Adult, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Cohort Studies, Down-Regulation, Female, HIV Antigens, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Virus Replication, Young Adult