Isolation of mycobacterium-reactive CD1-restricted T cells from patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection

J Clin Invest. 1998 Jan 15;101(2):383-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI318.


Because CD1-restricted T cells lack CD4 but produce IFN-gamma in response to nonpeptide mycobacterial antigens, they could play a unique role in immunity to tuberculosis. We studied CD1-restricted T cells in the context of HIV infection by expanding CD4(-) T cell lines from 10 HIV-infected patients. Upon stimulation with Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen or upon exposure to macrophages infected with M. tuberculosis, these T cell lines proliferated, produced IFN-gamma, and showed cytolytic T cell (CTL) activity against macrophages pulsed with mycobacterial antigen, findings consistent with a protective role against M. tuberculosis. Anti-CD1b antibodies abrogated T cell proliferation, IFN-gamma production, and CTL activity, demonstrating that these T cells are CD1 restricted. IFN-gamma production in response to M. tuberculosis was enhanced by antitransforming growth factor-beta in 8/10 lines, and by IL-15 in 2/10 lines. IFN-gamma production was augmented in a nonantigen-specific manner by IL-12 in 4/8 lines. When live HIV was cocultured with CD1-restricted T cell lines, p24 antigen and proviral DNA were not detected, indicating that the T cells were not infectable with HIV. Vaccination strategies aimed at activation and expansion of M. tuberculosis-reactive CD1-restricted T cells in HIV-infected patients may constitute a novel means to provide protection against tuberculosis, while minimizing the risk of enhancing HIV replication through stimulation of CD4(+) cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD1 / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Separation
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / physiology


  • Antigens, CD1
  • Cytokines