Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 462–472

Naïve T Cells Are Maintained in the Periphery During the First3 Months of Acute HIV-1 Infection: Implications for Analysis of Thymus Function

  • Gregory D. Sempowski
  • Charles B. Hicks
  • Joseph J. Eron
  • John A. Bartlett
  • Laura P. Hale
  • Guido Ferrari
  • Lloyd J. Edwards
  • Susan Fiscus
  • Barton F. Haynes
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10875-005-5635-4

Cite this article as:
Sempowski, G.D., Hicks, C.B., Eron, J.J. et al. J Clin Immunol (2005) 25: 462. doi:10.1007/s10875-005-5635-4

Abstract

A key determinant of T cell dynamics in HIV-1 infection is the status of thymic function. To date, most studies of the impact of HIV-1 on the thymus during early HIV-1 infection have been done in samples collected in the interval of 3–12 months after infection. In this study, we have probed the status of thymic function and peripheral naive T cells in patients with acute HIV-1 infection diagnosed 18–72 days after the onset of symptoms. We found that peripheral CD4 and CD8 T cell proliferation was initially elevated, then waned over time. The fall in T cell proliferation correlated with a reduction in HIV-1 viral RNA levels and a rise in peripheral blood CD4+ CD25+ T cells. In spite of elevated T cell proliferation early on in primary HIV-1 infection, levels of naive phenotype CD4 and CD8 T cells and T cell receptor excision circle positive cells (sjTREC+) remained constant. Taken together with the observation that T cell proliferation normally dilutes peripheral T cell episomal sjTREC levels, these data suggested that thymopoiesis contributes to maintenance of the naive T cell pool during the earliest stages of HIV-1 infection (18–72 days).

Keywords

Naïve T cellsthymusacute HIV-1 infection

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory D. Sempowski
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Charles B. Hicks
    • 1
  • Joseph J. Eron
    • 1
  • John A. Bartlett
    • 1
  • Laura P. Hale
    • 3
    • 5
  • Guido Ferrari
    • 4
  • Lloyd J. Edwards
    • 2
  • Susan Fiscus
    • 2
  • Barton F. Haynes
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of MedicineDuke University Medical CenterDurham
  2. 2.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill
  3. 3.Department of PathologyDuke University Medical CenterDurham
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryDuke University Medical CenterDurham
  5. 5.Duke Human Vaccine InstituteDuke University Medical CenterDurham
  6. 6.Duke University Medical CenterDurham