CD8+ T lymphocytes of asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) carriers (ACs) are capable of suppressing HIV-1 replication in CD4+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by a variety of known and unknown mechanisms. In the present study, cell contact-dependent, major histocompatibility complex type I (MHC I)-unrestricted, CD8+ cell-mediated suppression of HIV-1 LAI replication was detected. CD8+ PBMC of ACs suppressed HIV-1 replication more efficiently in MHC I-matched CD4+ PBMC than in mismatched cells. However, even when MHC I was totally mismatched, CD8+ cells still suppressed replication to a considerable extent in CD4+ PBMC. This MHC I-unrestricted, CD8+ cell-mediated HIV-1 suppression required cell contact and was not effective against cells of the established T cell line ILT-KK. In contrast, MHC I-restricted HIV-1 suppression by CD8+ T cells was detected when ILT-KK cells were used as a target. By using these systems, we examined MHC I-restricted and -unrestricted suppressive activities of CD8+ cells in various donors in more detail. Although both types of CD8+ cell-mediated HIV-1 suppression diminished at the advanced stage of the infection, MHC I-unrestricted suppression diminished earlier than MHC I-restricted suppression, in parallel with the decline in CD4+ T cells. These results suggest that suppression by the MHC I-restricted mechanism alone may fail to protect against CD4+ T-cell loss at the late stage of infection.


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