The relationship between the number of circulating CD4+ T cells and the presence of particular CD8+ T cell subsets was analyzed by flow cytometry on PBL from asymptomatic HIV-1-infected patients whose specimens were collected every 2 mo for a total period of 32 mo. Only slight variations were detected in the absolute number of lymphocytes and percentage of CD3+ lymphocytes, whereas both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets showed wide intrapatient variation. Variations in the number of CD8+CD28+ cells paralleled those of the CD4+ T cell subset in each patient tested, while the presence of CD8+CD28- T cells correlated inversely with CD4+ and CD8+CD28+ T cells. These data show that changes in the number of circulating CD4+-and CD8+CD28+ T cells are strongly related to the presence of CD8+CD28- T cells in these patients. Insight into the significance of CD8+CD28- T cell expansion will allow us to understand the mechanisms and significance of the HIV-1- driven change in CD4+CD8+ T cell homeostasis and the basic immunopathology of HIV disease.
A Caruso, S Licenziati, A D Canaris, A Cantalamessa, S Fiorentini, S Ausenda, D Ricotta, F Dima, F Malacarne, A Balsari, A Turano