Author(s): Funderburg N, Luciano AA, Jiang W, Rodriguez B, Sieg SF, , Funderburg N, Luciano AA, Jiang W, Rodriguez B, Sieg SF,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Recently, heightened systemic translocation of microbial products was found in persons with chronic HIV infection and this was linked to immune activation and CD4(+) T cell homeostasis. METHODOLOGY: We examined here the effects of microbial Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands on T cell activation in vitro. CONCLUSIONS/FINDINGS: We show that exposure to TLR ligands results in activation of memory and effector CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. After exposure to each of 8 different ligands that activate TLRs 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9, CD8(+) T cells are activated and gain expression of the C type lectin CD69 that may promote their retention in lymphoid tissues. In contrast, CD4(+) T cells rarely increase CD69 expression but instead enter cell cycle. Despite activation and cell cycle entry, CD4(+) T cells divide poorly and instead, disproportionately undergo activation-induced cell death. Systemic exposure to TLR agonists may therefore increase immune activation, effector cell sequestration in lymphoid tissues and T cell turnover. These events may contribute to the pathogenesis of immune dysfunction and CD4+ T cell losses in chronic infection with the human immunodeficiency virus.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research