Positive Effects of Combined Antiretroviral Therapy on CD4+ T Cell Homeostasis and Function in Advanced HIV Disease


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Abstract

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) increases CD4+ cell numbers, but its ability to correct the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-induced immune deficiency remains unknown. A three-phase T cell reconstitution was demonstrated after HAART, with: (i) an early rise of memory CD4+ cells, (ii) a reduction in T cell activation correlated to the decreasing retroviral activity together with an improved CD4+ T cell reactivity to recall antigens, and (iii) a late rise of "naive" CD4+ lymphocytes while CD8+ T cells declined, however, without complete normalization of these parameters. Thus, decreasing the HIV load can reverse HIV-driven activation and CD4+ T cell defects in advanced HIV-infected patients.

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