Role of CD40 ligand signaling in defective type 1 cytokine response in human immunodeficiency virus infection.

Research paper by C S CS Subauste, M M Wessendarp, A G AG Smulian, P T PT Frame

Indexed on: 24 May '01Published on: 24 May '01Published in: The Journal of infectious diseases


The pathogenesis of defective interleukin (IL)-12 and interferon (IFN)-gamma production in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients remains to be elucidated. This study investigated the possibility that perturbations in CD40 ligand signaling are involved in this defect. CD40 ligand trimer (CD40LT) stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) production of IL-12 in response to Toxoplasma gondii and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Regardless of the CD4 cell count, CD40LT restored IL-12 secretion in response to T. gondii in HIV-infected patients. In the presence of CD40LT, PBMC from both HIV-infected patients and control subjects produced high levels of IL-12 in response to CMV. CD40LT restored T. gondii- and CMV-triggered IFN-gamma secretion by T cells and PBMC from HIV-infected patients with a CD4 cell count >200 cells/microL. CD4 cells from HIV-infected patients, even those with a CD4 cell count >500 cells/microL, had defective CD40L induction after T cell stimulation mediated by antigen-presenting cells. Together, impaired CD40L induction is likely to contribute to defective IL-12 and IFN-gamma production in HIV infection.