Open Access

Effector cell mediated cytotoxicity measured by intracellular Granzyme B release in HIV infected subjects

  • Supriya D. Mahajan1Email author,
  • Ravikumar Aalinkeel1,
  • Stanley A. Schwartz1,
  • Ram P. Chawda1 and
  • Madhavan P. N. Nair1
Biological Procedures Online5:51182

Received: 5 June 2003

Accepted: 26 August 2003


CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity is currently believed to be one of the key immunologic mechanisms responsible for the prevention or attenuation of HIV-1 infection. The induction of CD8+ T cell activation may also result in the production of soluble or non-classical lytic factors that are associated with protection from infection or slower disease progression. Traditionally, CD8+ CTL responses have been measured by the classic chromium release assay, monitoring the ability of T cells (Effector cells) to lyse radiolabelled HLA — matched “target cells“ that express the appropriate antigen-MHC complex. This method is not only labor intensive, semi quantitative assay at best, but also needs fresh, non-cryopreserved cells. Recently, cytokine specific ELISPOT assays or tetrameric MHC-I/ peptide complexes have utilized to directly quantitate circulating CD8+ effector cells, and these assays are more sensitive, quantitative and reproducible than the traditional CTL lysis assay and can also be performed on cryopreserved cells. Although these are reproducible assays for the assessment of soluble antiviral activity secreted by activated T cell populations they can be extremely expensive to perform. We have used FACS Analysis to measure Granzyme B release as a function of cell mediated cytotoxicity. This method helps quantitate the CTL activity and also identifies the phenotype of the cells elucidating this immune response. The method described not only monitors immunological response but also is also simple to perform, precise and extremely time efficient and is ideal for screening a large number of samples.

Indexing terms

CD8-Positive T-LymphocytesHIVKiller Cells, Natural