Reduction in T cell apoptosis in patients with HIV disease following antiretroviral therapy

Surendra J. Chavan, Seetha L. Tamma, Mark Kaplan, Merril Gersten, Savita G. Pahwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Patients with HIV infection manifest increased T lymphocyte apoptosis. This study investigated the influence of antiretroviral therapy (ART) upon lymphocyte apoptosis in 23 HIV-infected adults naive to protease inhibitors. Patients were enrolled in a treatment trial consisting of Nelfinavir (NFV), d4T, or NFV + d4T for 24 weeks, followed by triple therapy (NFV + reverse transcriptase inhibitors) for an additional 24 weeks. Spontaneous T cell apoptosis in cultured PBMC decreased by 23.67 ± 18.2% (P < 0.006) at 48 weeks and plasma HIV RNA decreased by 1.79 ± 0.59 log10 RNA copies/ml (P < 0.001). The absolute decrease and slope of T cell apoptosis correlated with plasma virus load and with activated CD8 T cells and was inversely correlated with CD4 T cells. We conclude that reduction in chronic antigenic stimulation and the absence of cellular signals elicited by viral products contribute to the rescue of T lymphocytes from apoptosis, which facilitates immunologic recovery in ART-treated patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • FACS
  • Human
  • T-lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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