Characterization of Cellular Immune Responses in Thai Individuals with and Without HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Silvia Ratto-Kim, Alexandra Schuetz, Pasiri Sithinamsuwan, John Barber, Nicholas Hutchings, Sukalaya Lerdlum, James L.K. Fletcher, Yuwadee Phuang-Ngern, Weerawan Chuenarom, Somporn Tipsuk, Mantana Pothisri, Tanate Jadwattanakul, Supunnee Jirajariyavej, Chayada Sajjaweerawan, Siriwat Akapirat, Thep Chalermchai, Duanghathai Suttichom, Boot Kaewboon, Peeriya Prueksakaew, Putthachard KarnsomlapDavid Clifford, Robert H. Paul, Mark S. De Souza, Jerome H. Kim, Jintanat Ananworanich, Victor Valcour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


HIV-Associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) remains a challenge despite antiretroviral therapy (ART), and has been linked to monocyte/macrophage (M/M) migration to the brain. Due to the potential impact of T cell effector mechanisms in eliminating activated/HIV-infected M/M, T cell activation may play a role in the development of HAND. We sought to investigate the relationship between cognition and both CD8 + T cell activation (HLA-DR + /CD38 + ) and HIV-specific CD8 + T cell responses at the time of HIV diagnosis and 12 months postinitiation of ART. CD8 + T cell activation was increased in HAND compared to cognitive normal (NL) individuals and correlated directly with plasma viral load and inversely with the cognitive status. In addition, Gag-specific cytolytic activity (CD107a/b + ) was decreased in HAND compared with NL individuals and correlated with their neurological testing, suggesting a potential role of cytotoxic CD8 + T cells in the mechanism of HAND development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-689
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • CD8+ T cell activation
  • HIV-Associated neurocognitive disorders
  • HIV-specific cytolytic T cells


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