Loss of CD127 expression defines an expansion of effector CD8+ T cells in HIV-infected individuals

Mirko Paiardini, Barbara Cervasi, Helmut Albrecht, Alagarraju Muthukumar, Richard Dunham, Shari Gordon, Henry Radziewicz, Giuseppe Piedimonte, Mauro Magnani, Maria Montroni, Susan M. Kaech, Amy Weintrob, John B. Altman, Donald L. Sodora, Mark B. Feinberg, Guido Silvestri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


The immunodeficiency that follows HIV infection is related to the virus-mediated killing of infected CD4+ T cells, the chronic activation of the immune system, and the impairment of T cell production. In this study we show that in HIV-infected individuals the loss of IL-7R (CD127) expression defines the expansion of a subset of CD8+ T cells, specific for HIV as well as other Ags, that show phenotypic (i.e., loss of CCR7 and CD62 ligand expression with enrichment in activated and/or proliferating cells) as well as functional (i.e., production of IFN-γ, but not IL-2, decreased ex vivo proliferative potential and increased susceptibility to apoptosis) features of effector T cells. Importantly, in HIV-infected individuals the levels of CD8+CD127- T cells are directly correlated with the main markers of disease progression (i.e., plasma viremia and CD4+ T cell depletion) as well as with the indices of overall T cell activation. In all, these results identify the expansion of CD8 +CD127- effector-like T cells as a novel feature of the HIV-associated immune perturbation. Further studies are thus warranted to determine whether measurements of CD127 expression on CD8+ T cells may be useful in the clinical management of HIV-infected individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2900-2909
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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