Cross-reactive microbial peptides can modulate HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses

Christopher W. Pohlmeyer, Sarah B. Laskey, Sarah E. Beck, Daniel C. Xu, Adam A. Capoferri, Caroline C. Garliss, Megan E. May, Alison Livingston, Walt Lichmira, Richard D. Moore, M. Sue Leffell, Nicholas J. Butler, Jennifer E. Thorne, John A. Flynn, Robert F. Siliciano, Joel N. Blankson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Heterologous immunity is an important aspect of the adaptive immune response. We hypothesized that this process could modulate the HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cell response, which has been shown to play an important role in HIV-1 immunity and control. We found that stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from HIV-1-positive subjects with microbial peptides that were cross-reactive with immunodominant HIV-1 epitopes resulted in dramatic expansion of HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells. Interestingly, the TCR repertoire of HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells generated by ex vivo stimulation of PBMCs using HIV-1 peptide was different from that of cells stimulated with cross-reactive microbial peptides in some HIV-1-positive subjects. Despite these differences, CD8+ T cells stimulated with either HIV-1 or cross-reactive peptides effectively suppressed HIV-1 replication in autologous CD4+ T cells. These data suggest that exposure to cross-reactive microbial antigens can modulate HIV-1-specific immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0192098
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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