Indexed on: 15 Aug '06Published on: 15 Aug '06Published in: Virology
Recognition of various HIV proteins by CD8 T cells from HIV-infected children was determined by two functional assays. First, using an Elispot assay, we show that 80% of patients recognized Gag, 77% recognized Pol, 61% recognized Env, 44% recognized Nef and 29% recognized Vif. Frequencies of Gag-, Pol-, and Env-specific IFN-gamma producing CD8 T cells were higher than frequencies of Nef and Vif-specific CD8 T cells. The poor recognition of Nef by ex vivo CD8 T cells was confirmed by CTL assays performed in HAART naïve children: 25% of children had positive response against Nef versus 44, 63 and 62% for Env, Gag, and Pol, respectively. Memory Gag-specific CTL were positively correlated with age, whereas Nef-specific CTL were negatively correlated with age. The poor Nef-specific CD8 T cell response in HIV-infected children contrasts with dominance of Nef-specific responses in infected adults.