HIV-Infected Spleens Present Altered Follicular Helper T Cell (Tfh) Subsets and Skewed B Cell Maturation

Abstract : Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells within secondary lymphoid organs control multiple steps of B cell maturation and antibody (Ab) production. HIV-1 infection is associated with an altered B cell differentiation and Tfh isolated from lymph nodes of HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals provide inadequate B cell help in vitro. However, the mechanisms underlying this impairment of Tfh function are not fully defined. Using a unique collection of splenocytes, we compared the frequency, phenotype and transcriptome of Tfh subsets in spleens from HIV negative (HIV-) and HIV+ subjects. We observed an increase of CXCR5+PD-1highCD57-Tfh and germinal center (GC) CD57+ Tfh in HIV+ spleens. Both subsets showed a reduced mRNA expression of the transcription factor STAT-3, co-stimulatory, regulatory and signal transduction molecules as compared to HIV- spleens. Similarly, Foxp3 expressing follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cells were increased, suggesting sustained GC reactions in chronically HIV+ spleens. As a consequence, GC B cell populations were expanded, however, complete maturation into memory B cells was reduced in HIV+ spleens where we evidenced a compromised production of B cell-activating cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-10. Collectively our data indicate that, although Tfh proliferation and GC reactions seem to be ongoing in HIV-infected spleens, Tfh "differentiation" and expression of costimulatory molecules is skewed with a profound effect on B cell maturation.
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PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (10), pp.e0140978. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0140978〉
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Lucie Colineau, Angeline Rouers, Takuya Yamamoto, Yin Xu, Alejandra Urrutia, et al.. HIV-Infected Spleens Present Altered Follicular Helper T Cell (Tfh) Subsets and Skewed B Cell Maturation. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (10), pp.e0140978. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0140978〉. 〈inserm-01222249〉

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