Comparative efficiency of HIV-1-infected T cell killing by NK cells, monocytes and neutrophils.
Smalls-Mantey A., Connors M., Sattentau QJ.
HIV-1 infected cells are eliminated in infected individuals by a variety of cellular mechanisms, the best characterized of which are cytotoxic T cell and NK cell-mediated killing. An additional antiviral mechanism is antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Here we use primary CD4(+) T cells infected with the BaL clone of HIV-1 as target cells and autologous NK cells, monocytes, and neutrophils as effector cells, to quantify the cytotoxicity mediated by the different effectors. This was carried out in the presence or absence of HIV-1-specific antiserum to assess antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. We show that at the same effector to target ratio, NK cells and monocytes mediate similar levels of both antibody-dependent and antibody-independent killing of HIV-1-infected T cells. Neutrophils mediated significant antibody-dependent killing of targets, but were less effective than monocytes or NK cells. These data have implications for acquisition and control of HIV-1 in natural infection and in the context of vaccination.