Indexed on: 21 Aug '09Published on: 21 Aug '09Published in: Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific T-cell reactivity has been related to protection from disease progression. Optimal T-cell reactivity to HIV-1 presumably requires antigen processing and presentation by professional antigen-presenting cells, particularly dendritic cells (DC). Here we examined whether multiple HIV-1-specific T-cell functions are enhanced by stimulation with HIV-1 peptide-loaded DC derived from HIV-1-infected subjects on antiretroviral therapy. We first found that mature DC increased the number of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-producing T cells detected by enzyme-linked immunospot assay to overlapping 15-mer peptides of HIV-1 Gag and Nef, compared to stimulation with peptide-loaded, immature DC or to peptides without DC. IFN-gamma production was lower in response to large pools of the Gag and Nef peptides, regardless of presentation by DC. We further observed that HIV-1 peptide-loaded, mature DC stimulated greater CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-cell proliferation than did the peptides without DC and that T-cell proliferation was lower in response to larger pools of the peptides. The lower T-cell IFN-gamma and proliferation responses to the larger peptide pools were related to lower T-cell viability. Finally, the number of polyfunctional CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells stimulated by HIV-1 peptide-loaded, mature DC, defined as positive by intracellular staining for more than one immune mediator (IFN-gamma, interleukin 2, tumor necrosis factor alpha, macrophage inhibitory protein 1beta, or CD107a), was greater than that stimulated by the peptides alone. These results indicate that DC can enhance multiple types of HIV-1-specific T-cell functions.