Author(s): Cavaleiro R, Brunn GJ, Albuquerque AS, Victorino RM, Platt JL,
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Abstract HIV-2 is associated with an attenuated form of HIV disease. We investigate here the immunosuppressive effects of the HIV-2 envelope protein, gp105. We found that gp105 suppresses activation of T cells through a monocyte-mediated mechanism. Suppression of T cell activation by gp105 depends on contact between monocytes and T cells, but not on CD4+CD25+ T cells. The TLR4 pathway is likely involved, since gp105 activates TLR4 signaling and induces TNF-alpha production by monocytes. Immunosuppression is viewed as the main pathophysiologic consequence of infection by HIV. However, the main immunologic defect caused by HIV, depletion of T cells, requires T cell activation. Our findings are consistent with a new concept that HIV-2 envelope proteins act on monocytes to suppress T cell activation and that this property may contribute to the benign course of HIV-2. We hypothesize that the HIV-2 envelope immunosuppressive properties limit bursts of T cell activation, thus reducing viremia and contributing to the slow rate of disease progression that characterizes HIV-2 disease.
This article was published in Eur J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination