Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Responses to HIV

From Primary Infection to Aids
  • Brigitte Autran


The best candidates among host immune defenses for the control of HIV replication and spread in an infected individual are generally believed to be virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), the natural function of which is to clear virus-infected cells (Cannon et al., 1988; Plata, 1985; Plata et al., 1987a; Engers et al., 1984; Greenberg et al., 1981; Buchmeier et al., 1980; Leclerc and Cantor, 1980). Since the first characterizations of HIV-specific CTLs by our group and others (Plata et al., 1987; Walker et al., 1987), these CTL responses have been extensively studied and are characterized by an unusual intensity and polyclonality, as compared to CTL responses in other viral infections (Walker et al., 1994a, b; Nixon and McMichael, 1991; Autran et al., 1991; Letvin, 1991; Rivière et al., 1989). The polyclonal HIV-specific CTLs are simultaneously directed against a large array of epitopes, most of which have been described in conserved areas from the complete set of the HIV-1 proteins. Multiple epitopes are also recognized in the context of the various MHC class I molecules in an individual’s haplotype. The persistence of an HIV replication in the face of such vigorous immune responses indicates that CTLs are not efficient enough at controlling virus replication and spread. Despite these major advances in our knowledge of CTL responses in infected individuals, two major sets of questions remain incompletely elucidated.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication Human Immunodeficiency Virus Protein 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brigitte Autran
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Immunologie CellulaireURA CNRS 625-Hôpital Pitíe-SalpêtrièreParisFrance

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