Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 138  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 682-699

The enduring tale of T cells in HIV immunopathogenesis

Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Vajpayee
Additional Professor, Laboratory Head, HIV & Immunology Division In-charge, National HIV Reference Laboratory & Integrated Counseling & Testing Centre Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24434321

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HIV continues to be a major health problem worldwide even today. Owing to the intricate nature of its interactions with the immune system, HIV has remained an enigma that cleverly utilizes the host machinery to survive. Its ability to evade the host immune system, at both levels, innate and adaptive, allows the pathogen to replicate and transmit from one host to another. It has been shown that HIV has multipronged effects especially on the adaptive immunity, with CD4+ T cells being the worst affected T cell populations. Various analyses have revealed that the exposure to HIV results in clonal expansion and excessive activation of the immune system. Also, an abnormal process of differentiation has been observed suggestive of an alteration and blocks in the maturation of various T cell subsets. Additionally, HIV has shown to accelerate immunosenescence and exhaustion of the overtly activated T cells. Apart from causing phenotypic changes, HIV has adverse effects on the functional aspect of the immune system, with evidences implicating it in the loss of the capacity of T cells to secrete various antiviral cytokines and chemokines. However, there continues to be many aspects of the immunopathogenesis of HIV that are still unknown and thus require further research to convert the malaise of HIV into a manageable epidemic.

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