The CD160+ CD8high cytotoxic T cell subset correlates with response to HAART in HIV-1+ patients

Cell Immunol. 2005 Oct;237(2):96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2005.01.012. Epub 2005 Dec 9.


We investigated the circulating cytotoxic CD160+ CD8(high) subset in correlation to antiviral immunity and response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV+ subjects. The study included 45 treatment-naive patients receiving HAART for 18 months, retrospectively defined as good (n=29) and transient (n=16) responders. HIV-specific CD8 T lymphocyte levels were measured by IFNgamma production in response to p17 Gag, in the presence of immobilized anti-CD160 mAb. We report a significantly increased baseline level of CD160+ CD8(high) subset in good therapy responders. CD160+ CD8(high) subset correlates with CD4+ T cell count, immune activation, and viral load. CD160+ CD8(high) lymphocytes contain a high amount of Granzyme B and include virus-specific T lymphocytes in HIV-1+ subjects. Co-stimulation through CD160 molecules enhances IFNgamma production in response to p17 Gag. Therefore, the CD160+ CD8(high) subset may be useful for monitoring of virus-specific cellular immunity and predicting response to antiretroviral therapy in chronic HIV-1 infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Gene Products, gag / immunology
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Immunologic Memory
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD160 protein, human
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Gene Products, gag
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • p17 gag peptide, human immunodeficiency virus
  • Interferon-gamma