HIV-specific CD8 T cells express low levels of IL-7Ralpha: implications for HIV-specific T cell memory

Virology. 2006 Sep 30;353(2):366-73. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2006.06.017. Epub 2006 Jul 24.


Chronic infections in mice can result in defects in memory CD8 T cell properties including low expression of the IL-7Ralpha (CD127). To determine whether defects in memory CD8 T cell formation exist during human chronic infections and to what extent these defects may be allele- or epitope-specific, we compared influenza (Flu), vaccinia (VV) and EBV-specific CD8 T cells to HIV-specific CD8 T cells, using a panel of 13 HIV tetramers. Compared to Flu, VV or EBV, HIV tetramer+ CD8 T cells expressed significantly lower levels of CD127, and this reduction was pervasive across all epitopes and alleles tested and over a wide range of viral loads and CD4 counts. These results indicate impaired HIV-specific memory CD8 T cell differentiation, regardless of level of control of viremia, epitopes targeted or restricting HLA alleles.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Alleles
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7 / biosynthesis*
  • United States
  • Viral Load


  • HLA Antigens
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7
  • interleukin-7 receptor, alpha chain