African green monkeys (AGMs) are a natural host of SIV that do not develop simian AIDS. Adult AGMs naturally have low numbers of CD4+T cells and a large population of MHC class II-restricted CD8aa T cells that are generated through CD4 downregulation in CD4+T cells. In this article, we study the functional profiles and SIV infection status in vivo of CD4+T cells, CD8aa T cells, and CD8ab T cells in lymph nodes, peripheral blood, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of AGMs and rhesus macaques (in which CD4 downregulation is not observed).We show that, although CD8aa T cells in AGMs maintain functions associated with CD4+T cells (including Th follicular functionality in lymphoid tissues and Th2 responses in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid), they also accumulate functions normally attributed to canonical CD8+ T cells. These hyperfunctional CD8aa T cells are found to circulate peripherally, as well as reside within the lymphoid tissue. Due to their unique combination of CD4 and CD8 T cell effector functions, these CD42 CD8aa T cells are likely able to serve as an immunophenotype capable of Th1, follicular Th, and CTL functionalities, yet they are unable to be infected by SIV. These data demonstrate the ambiguity of CD4/CD8 expression in dictating the functional capacities of T cells and suggest that accumulation of hyperfunctional CD8aa T cells in AGMs may lead to tissuespecific antiviral immune responses in lymphoid follicles that limit SIV replication in this particular anatomical niche.
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