Autologous cytotoxicity of natural killer cells derived from HIV-infected patients

Anna Linda Hultström, Göran Bratt, Antonio Cosma, Volker Erfle, Britta Wahren, Ennio Carbone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


NK cells recognize target cells with reduced expression of MHC class I molecules. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection decreases MHC class I on the cell membrane. The aim of this study was to directly evaluate the role and conditions of NK cell effects in HIV seropositive patients ex vivo. Autologous HIV-infected CD4+ T cells were exposed to NK cells recognition. We discovered an increased lysis of the target cells after infection with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). The expression of the HIV-1 nef gene or the combined expression of nef and tat confers NK susceptibility to autologous CD4+ targets. Downregulation of MHC class I but not HLA-C or CD4 correlated with increased recognition by NK cells. The specific recognition is correlated with downregulation of MHC class I molecules on the infected target cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • MHC class I
  • NK


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