Author(s): GasperSmith N, Crossman DM, Whitesides JF, Mensali N, Ottinger JS,
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Abstract The death of CD4(+) CCR5(+) T cells is a hallmark of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We studied the plasma levels of cell death mediators and products--tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), Fas ligand, TNF receptor type 2 (TNFR-2), and plasma microparticles--during the earliest stages of infection following HIV type 1 (HIV-1) transmission in plasma samples from U.S. plasma donors. Significant plasma TRAIL level elevations occurred a mean of 7.2 days before the peak of plasma viral load (VL), while TNFR-2, Fas ligand, and microparticle level elevations occurred concurrently with maximum VL. Microparticles had been previously shown to mediate immunosuppressive effects on T cells and macrophages. We found that T-cell apoptotic microparticles also potently suppressed in vitro immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA antibody production by memory B cells. Thus, release of TRAIL during the onset of plasma viremia (i.e., the eclipse phase) in HIV-1 transmission may initiate or amplify early HIV-1-induced cell death. The window of opportunity for a HIV-1 vaccine is from the time of HIV-1 transmission until establishment of the latently infected CD4(+) T cells. Release of products of cell death and subsequent immunosuppression following HIV-1 transmission could potentially narrow the window of opportunity during which a vaccine is able to extinguish HIV-1 infection and could place severe constraints on the amount of time available for the immune system to respond to the transmitted virus.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access