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Natural killer (NK) cell
plays an important role in an innate immune response against viral infection.
The kinetics regulation and functional consequences of NK cells in the
pathogeneses of diseases are uncertain. We analyzed NK cell distribution and
function of successfully combination antiretroviral therapy (cART)-treated
HIV-1 infected individuals in Khon Kaen Regional Hospital, Thailand. The results
demonstrated that increased percentage and the total number of NK cell in cART-treated HIV-1 infected patients
with preferential high levels of CD56dimCD16+ and CD56-CD16+ subsets when compared with a control
group even in undetectable viral load (<40 copies per milliliter).
Concomitantly, decreased cytotoxic activity measured by CD107asurface
expression with maintained IFN-γ production
implied the impairment of cytolytic activity was not recovered after cART
treatment. Thus, altered NK cell frequency and function by HIV-1 infection are
not completely recovered with cART, which may contribute to impaired cellular
immune response and persistence of HIV-1.