CD8+ T cells suppress human immunodeficiency virus replication by inhibiting viral transcription

Carl E. Mackewicz*, David J. Blackbourn, Jay A. Levy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Citations (Scopus)


CD8+ cells from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals suppress HIV replication in cultured CD4+ cells by a noncytolytic mechanism that involves a secreted CD8+-cell antiviral factor (CAF). The results of this study suggest that CD8+ cells, as well as CAF, arrest HIV replication at the level of viral transcription. Culturing naturally infected CD4+ cells actively producing HIV with autologous CD8+ cells or a 50% dilution of culture fluids from these cells results in a >80% reduction in the number of cells expressing HIV antigens and RNA. This effect was observed within 2 days after exposure to CD8+ cells but required 6 days in the presence of CAF- containing culture fluids to reach the same extent of HIV suppression. Northern blot analysis of CD4+ cell extracts revealed that all vital RNA species (unspliced and single and double spliced) were reduced in quantity to a similar extent. CAF-containing culture fluids also had a direct inhibitory effect on HIV long terminal repeat (LTR)-driven transcription in HIV-infected 1G5 cells carrying an LTR-luciferase construct. Suppression of basal levels of LTR-driven transcription was not detected. Thus, the results suggest that the noncytolytic CD8+ cell antiviral activity observed in HIV infection exerts its effects, at least in part, by specifically interrupting HIV transcription. These findings could help in developing therapies for HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2308-2312
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 1995


Dive into the research topics of 'CD8+ T cells suppress human immunodeficiency virus replication by inhibiting viral transcription'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this