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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

ISSN Print: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.v6.i3-6.50
pages 275-290

T Lymphocytes and Their Cytokines in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection: Implications for Associated Neoplasias

Christian Jassoy
institute for Virology and Immunobiology, Wurzburg University, 97078 Wurzburg, Germany
Bruce D. Walker
2AIDS Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114


Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) results in gradual immunosuppression due to the loss of CD4+ T cells. In the wake of immune system breakdown, infected individuals may acquire multiple opportunistic infections and develop certain malignancies which ultimately account for the vast majority of deaths in these persons. A limited number of malignancies are directly associated with HIV infection and suggest a common tie between these tumors. Inappropriate immune surveillance resulting in insufficient inhibition of virus replication and inadequate control of the growth of transformed cells may contribute to the development of malignancies in HIV infected individuals. Alternatively, malignancies in HIV infection may be the consequence of immune dysregulation. Cellular immune responses mediated by antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) are of particular importance for immunologic control of viral infections and substantial information has been gathered about these cells in HIV infection. The goal of this review is therefore to summarize recent findings regarding the cellular immune response to HIV with a particular focus on cytokines released by HIV-specific CTL.