Quantitation of HIV-1-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes and plasma load of viral RNA Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • CD57 Antigens
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Psoriasis


  • Although cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are thought to be involved in the control of human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) infection, it has not been possible to demonstrate a direct relation between CTL activity and plasma RNA viral load. Human leukocyte antigen-peptide tetrameric complexes offer a specific means to directly quantitate circulating CTLs ex vivo. With the use of the tetrameric complexes, a significant inverse correlation was observed between HIV-specific CTL frequency and plasma RNA viral load. In contrast, no significant association was detected between the clearance rate of productively infected cells and frequency of HIV-specific CTLs. These data are consistent with a significant role for HIV-specific CTLs in the control of HIV infection and suggest a considerable cytopathic effect of the virus in vivo.

publication date

  • March 27, 1998



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.279.5359.2103

PubMed ID

  • 9516110

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2103

end page

  • 6


  • 279


  • 5359