TitleHuman Immunodeficiency Virus-specific CD8(+) T Cells in Human Breast Milk
AuthorsSabbaj S., Edwards B. H., Ghosh M. K., Semrau K., Cheelo S., Thea D. M., Kuhn L., Ritter G. D., Mulligan M. J., Goepfert P. A., Aldrovandi G. M.
PublicationJ Virol. 2002 Jul; 76(15):7365-73.
AbstractBreast-feeding infants of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women ingest large amounts of HIV, but most escape infection. While the factors affecting transmission risk are poorly understood, HIV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses play a critical role in controlling HIV levels in blood. We therefore investigated the ability of breast milk cells (BMC) from HIV-infected women from the United States and Zambia to respond to HIV-1 peptides in a gamma interferon enzyme-linked immunospot assay. All (n = 11) HIV-infected women had responses to pools of Gag peptide (range, 105 to 1,400 spot-forming cells/million; mean = 718), 8 of 11 reacted to Pol, 7 reacted to Nef, and 2 of 5 reacted to Env. Conversely, of four HIV-negative women, none responded to any of the tested HIV peptide pools. Depletion and tetramer staining studies demonstrated that CD8(+) T cells mediated these responses, and a chromium-release assay showed that these BMC were capable of lysing target cells in an HIV-specific manner. These data demonstrate the presence of HIV-specific major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted CD8(+) CTLs in breast milk. Their presence suggests a role in limiting transmission and provides a rationale for vaccine strategies to enhance these responses.
Related ProjectsZambia Exclusive Breastfeeding Study (ZEBS)