Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in vervet African green monkeys chronically infected with SIVagm

J Virol. 2008 Dec;82(23):11577-88. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01779-08. Epub 2008 Oct 1.


African green monkeys (AGM) do not develop overt signs of disease following simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection. While it is still unknown how natural hosts like AGM can cope with this lentivirus infection, a large number of investigations have shown that CD8(+) T-cell responses are critical for the containment of AIDS viruses in humans and Asian nonhuman primates. Here we have compared the phenotypes of T-cell subsets and magnitudes of SIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses in vervet AGM chronically infected with SIVagm and rhesus monkeys (RM) infected with SIVmac. In comparison to RM, vervet AGM exhibited weaker signs of immune activation and associated proliferation of CD8(+) T cells as detected by granzyme B, Ki-67, and programmed death 1 staining. By gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunospot assay and intracellular cytokine staining, SIV Gag- and Env-specific immune responses were detectable at variable but lower levels in vervet AGM than in RM. These observations demonstrate that natural hosts like SIV-infected vervet AGM develop SIV-specific T-cell responses, but the disease-free course of infection does not depend on the generation of robust CD8(+) T-cell responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / blood
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Chronic Disease
  • Granzymes / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Ki-67 Antigen / blood
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macaca mulatta
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • RNA, Viral
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Granzymes