Interleukin-10-secreting T cells define a suppressive subset within the HIV-1-specific T-cell population

Eirik A. Torheim, Lishomwa C. Ndhlovu, Frank O. Pettersen, Trine Lise Larsen, Aashish R. Jha, Knut M. Torgersen, Dag Kvale, Douglas F. Nixon, Kjetil Taskén, Einar M. Aandahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies have indicated that Treg contribute to the HIV type 1 (HIV-1)-related immune pathogenesis. However, it is not clear whether T cells with suppressive properties reside within the HIV-1-specific T-cell population. Here, PBMC from HIV-1-infected individuals were stimulated with a 15-mer Gag peptide pool, and HIV-1-specific T cells were enriched by virtue of their secretion of IL-10 or IFN-γ using immunomagnetic cell-sorting. Neither the IL-10-secreting cells nor the IFN-γ-secreting cells expressed the Treg marker FOXP3, yet the IL-10-secreting cells potently suppressed anti-CD3/CD28-induced CD4+ aswell as CD8+ T-cell proliferative responses. As shown by intracellular cytokine staining, IL-10- and IFN-γ-producing T cells represent distinct subsets of the HIV-1-specific T cells. Our data collectively suggest that functionally defined HIV-1-specific T-cell subsets harbor potent immunoregulatory properties that may contribute to HIV-1-associated T-cell dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1287
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • HIV antigens
  • HIV type 1
  • IL-10
  • Treg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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