Elevated levels of CD38+ CD8+ T cells in HIV infection add to the prognostic value of low CD4+ T cell levels: results of 6 years of follow-up. The Los Angeles Center, Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr (1988). 1993 Aug;6(8):904-12.


A cohort of 98 HIV-infected initially AIDS-free homosexual men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) was followed for 6 years to investigate whether CD8+ cell subsets have prognostic value for progression to AIDS. In the present study, four subsets of CD8+ T cells that previously have been shown to be selectively elevated in HIV-infected asymptomatic persons, specifically the CD8+ T cell subsets that were CD38+, HLA-DR+, CD57+ and L-selectin negative (Leu8-), were measured. Forty-nine of the 98 developed AIDS. Prognostic value of these CD8+ cell subsets was evaluated using the proportional hazards model. Levels of both CD38+ CD8+ and Leu8- CD8+ cells individually had prognostic value for progression to AIDS. In contrast, CD57+ CD8+ and HLA-DR+ CD8+ cell subsets levels did not have prognostic value. After adjustment for level of CD4+ T cells, however, only the elevation in the CD38+ CD8+ cell subset had additional prognostic value. These results suggest that the level of CD38+ CD8+ cells could be used together with the CD4+ T cell level to more accurately predict progression to AIDS among HIV-infected men. These results provide further support for the observation that dramatic and progressive activation of CD8+ T cells in HIV infection occurs. The power of elevated levels of the CD38+ CD8+ subset to predict poor prognosis in this cohort suggests these CD8+ T cells reflect an immune stimulation that is ultimately unable to control disease progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / etiology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, Differentiation / analysis*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / analysis
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD57 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • L-Selectin
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD57 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • L-Selectin
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • CD38 protein, human
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1