T-cell responses to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and its recombinant antigens in HIV-infected chimpanzees.


Peripheral blood lymphocytes from chimpanzees infected for 3 months to more than 3 years with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had normal T-cell proliferative responses after stimulation with a variety of recall antigens and mitogens, indicating that HIV infection does not cause detectable immunological impairment in chimpanzees. This finding contrasts with that obtained in HIV-infected humans, who often have impaired T-cell reactivity. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from most HIV-infected chimpanzees that were studied also had strong proliferative responses to purified HIV as well as to HIV envelope glycoproteins isolated from the virus, to recombinant HIV envelope glycoproteins gp120 and gp41, and to HIV gag protein p24. The HIV-specific T-cell responses in HIV-infected chimpanzees may contribute to prevention of the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in this species.

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