Gag-specific cytotoxic responses to HIV type 1 are associated with a decreased risk of progression to AIDS-related complex or AIDS

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1995 Aug;11(8):903-7. doi: 10.1089/aid.1995.11.903.


The duration of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection prior to the development of AIDS is variable, and for most patients the exact time of infection is not known. A group of 38 HIV-1-infected subjects was tested while asymptomatic for comparative cytotoxic lymphocyte responses to the Gag and envelope antigens of HIV-1. Twenty of the 38 patients had no detectable primary cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to Gag, and this was associated with a relative risk of 1.89 for progression to ARC or AIDS during the subsequent 3 to 40 months of observation when compared with patients who had Gag-specific CTL activity at the beginning of the observation period. In contrast, no significant association was observed between envelope-specific cytotoxic activity and disease progression. Other patient characteristics, including CD4+ T lymphocyte counts and antibody levels to the p24gag protein, measured at the start of observation, did not correlate with disease progression during the observation period. This suggests that the anti-Gag CTL response may be protective during HIV-1 infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / etiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • Gene Products, gag / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


  • Gene Products, gag