Cutting edge: Rapid recovery of NKT cells upon institution of highly active antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 infection

Hans J.J. Van Der Vliet, Marit G.A. Van Vonderen, Johan W. Molling, Hetty J. Bontkes, Martine Reijm, Peter Reiss, Michiel A. Van Agtmael, Sven A. Danner, Alfons J.M. Van Den Eertwegh, B. Mary E. Von Blomberg, Rik J. Scheper

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CD1d-restricted NKT cells play important regulatory roles in various immune responses and are rapidly and selectively depleted upon infection with HIV-1. The cause of this selective depletion is incompletely understood, although it is in part due to the high susceptibility of CD4+ NKT cells to direct infection and subsequent cell death by HIV-1. Here, we demonstrate that highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) results in the rapid recovery of predominantly CD4- NKT cells with kinetics that are strikingly similar to those of mainstream T cells. As it is well known that the early recovery of mainstream T cells in response to HAART is due to their redistribution from tissues to the circulation, our data suggest that the selective depletion of circulating NKT cells is likely due to a combination of cell death and tissue sequestration and indicates that HAART can improve immune functions by reconstituting both conventional T cells and immunoregulatory NKT cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5775-5778
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006

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