Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

ISSN: 2155-6113

Open Access

Characteristics of Natural Killer Cells in Malaysian HIV Patients Presenting with Immune Restoration Disease After ART


Dino Bee Aik Tan, Yean Kong Yong, Hong Yien Tan, Martyn French, Adeeba Kamarulzaman and Patricia Price

Objectives: Natural killer (NK) cell function was investigated in Malaysian HIV patients beginning antiretroviral therapy (ART) with advanced immunodeficiency. Some patients experienced immune restoration disease (IRD) presenting as exacerbations of pre-existing infections. Whilst most IRD are attributed to interferon-gamma (IFN?) produced by T-cells, NK cells may also contribute. Methods: Blood leukocytes were collected prospectively from 100 HIV patients over 1 year on ART, plus 36 healthy controls. Eleven patients who experienced an IRD and 14 matched controls were assayed. Cells producing IFN? were quantitated by ELISpot after stimulation with an NK target (K562 cells) or antigens from pathogens associated with the IRD. NK cell subsets, CD16 and perforin expression were determined by flow cytometry Results: NK cell IFN? responses were lower in HIV patients at baseline (p<0.001), improved by Week 24 (p<0.01) but remained lower than uninfected controls (p<0.05). Proportions of CD56hi NK cells increased (p<0.01) above controls at Week 24. Perforin expression on these cells was higher than controls at baseline (p<0.01), but declined on ART. Proportions of CD56hl NK cells were similar in patients and controls throughout. IRD patients showed lower CD16 expression on CD56lo NK cells than non-IRD patients before treatment (p<0.05) Conclusions: NK cells profiles were restored on ART, but NK cell IFN? production remained impaired. Low CD16 expression on CD56lo NK cells may mark a predisposition for an IRD.


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Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Received Date: Jan 01, 1970
Accepted Date: Jan 01, 1970
Published Date: Jan 01, 1970

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