Author(s): Geraldine M OConnor
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Natural killer (NK) cells are part of the innate immune system important in the control of viral infections and recent evidence suggests that they may play a role in the pathogenesis of HIV. Long-term non-progressor (LTNP) HIV patients who control replication of the virus and show a delayed disease progression have naturally occurring successful immune responses to HIV. We investigated a role for NK cells in these patients. In agreement with previous reports, NK cell cytotoxic activity was decreased in viremic HIV patients relative to healthy individuals (p < 0.05). Viremic HIV patients showed an altered cell surface phenotype, including a reduction in natural cytotoxicity receptor expression and an increase in leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor subfamily B member 1 (LILRB1) expression. These phenotypic changes were also present in LTNP patients; however, these patients showed increased levels of NK cell activity relative to viremic HIV patient group.
This article was published in Clinical Immunology
and referenced in Immunogenetics: Open Access