Low levels of siv-specific CD8+ T cells in germinal centers characterizes acute SIV infection

Shengbin Li, Joy M. Folkvord, Katalin J. Kovacs, Reece K. Wagstaff, Gwantwa Mwakalundwa, Aaron K. Rendahl, Eva G. Rakasz, Elizabeth Connick, Pamela J. Skinner

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16 Scopus citations


CD8+ T cells play an important role in controlling of HIV and SIV infections. However, these cells are largely excluded from B cell follicles where HIV and SIV producing cells concentrate during chronic infection. It is not known, however, if antigen-specific CD8+ T cells are excluded gradually as pathogenesis progresses from early to chronic phase, or this phenomenon occurs from the beginning infection. In this study we determined that SIV-specific CD8+ T cells were largely excluded from follicles during early infection, we also found that within follicles, they were entirely absent in 60% of the germinal centers (GCs) examined. Furthermore, levels of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in follicular but not extrafollicular areas significantly correlated inversely with levels of viral RNA+ cells. In addition, subsets of follicular SIV-specific CD8+ T cells were activated and proliferating and expressed the cytolytic protein perforin. These studies suggest that a paucity of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in follicles and complete absence within GCs during early infection may set the stage for the establishment of persistent chronic infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1007311
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology

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