European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 158, Issue 8, pp 638–644

Expression of CD69 on T-cells from HIV-1-infected children and adolescents increases with increasing viral load

  • T. Böhler
  • J. Walcher
  • G. Hölzl-Wenig
  • P. Schnitzler
  • M. Geiss
  • B. Buchholz
  • R. Linde
  • H. Rütschle
  • K.-M. Debatin
IMMUNOLOGY/ALLERGOLOGY

Abstract

We evaluated the use of a whole-blood assay that measures spontaneous and activation-induced CD69 expression on peripheral blood T-cells in vitro for assessment of T-cell function in HIV-1-infected paediatric patients. Heparinized venous blood from 28 HIV-1 positive children and adolescents and 23 healthy controls was incubated for 4 h with or without 5 μg/ml phytohaemagglutinin (PHA). Thereafter, analysis of CD69 expression on CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells was done by flow cytometry; simultaneously we determined CD4+ T-cell counts and plasma HIV-1 viral load. Neither spontaneous nor PHA-induced CD69 expression differed significantly between HIV-1 positive patients and healthy controls. However, T-cells from HIV-1 positive patients with plasma HIV-1 viral load levels above 70 × 103 copies/ml showed a higher spontaneous CD69 expression than T-cells from patients with lower plasma viral load levels in different stages of the disease. Antiretroviral treatment in four patients reduced spontaneous CD69 expression in CD4+ T-cells and PHA-induced CD69 expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells significantly after 8 weeks of therapy.

Conclusion Spontaneous and activation-induced expression of the early (activation) antigen CD69 on peripheral blood T-cells does not distinguish HIV-1 positive patients from HIV-1 negative healthy controls and is not correlated with peripheral blood CD4+ T-cell counts. This test may not be a reliable marker for functional T-cell deficiency during early stages of HIV disease. Increased spontaneous as well as PHA-induced CD69 expression on T-cells from HIV-1-infected children and adolescents in vitro may rather reflect HIV-induced pre-activation of T-cells in vivo.

Key words HIV-1 T-cells CD69 Activation Children 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Böhler
    • 1
  • J. Walcher
    • 1
  • G. Hölzl-Wenig
    • 1
  • P. Schnitzler
    • 2
  • M. Geiss
    • 2
  • B. Buchholz
    • 3
  • R. Linde
    • 4
  • H. Rütschle
    • 5
  • K.-M. Debatin
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Molecular Oncology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, GermanyDE
  2. 2.Department of Medical Virology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Children's Hospital, University of Heidelberg at Mannheim, Mannheim, GermanyDE
  4. 4.Children's Hospital, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, GermanyDE
  5. 5.Children's Hospital St. Anna-Stift, Ludwigshafen

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