Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/7210
Peripheral T follicular helper Cells Make a Difference in HIV Reservoir Size between Elite Controllers and Patients on Successful cART
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):16799
HIV latency is the main barrier to HIV eradication. Peripheral T follicular helper (pTfh) cells have a prominent role in HIV persistence. Herein, we analyzed the HIV reservoir size within memory CD4+ T-cell subsets in patients with HIV replication control. Twenty HIV-infected patients with suppressed HIV replication were included, with 10 elite controllers (EC) and 10 treated (TX) individuals. The HIV reservoir size was analyzed in resting memory CD4+ T-cells (Trm), pTfh, and non-pTfh cells using an ultrasensitive digital-droplet-PCR assay. Inter-group and intra-group differences were tested using non-parametric tests. Compared with the TX patients, the EC patients had smaller HIV reservoir not only in Trm but also in pTfh and non-pTfh subsets of memory CD4+ T-cells. The largest differences were observed in pTfh cells (p = 0.025). The pTfh and non-pTfh cells harbored similar levels of HIV-DNA in the EC (p = 0.60) and TX patients (p = 0.17); however, the contribution to HIV-DNA levels in memory CD4+ T-cells varied among the pTfh and non-pTfh subsets in both groups of patients. The EC patients showed smaller HIV reservoir in memory CD4+ cells, especially in the pTfh subset, a population of cells with a pivotal role in the antiviral immune response, suggesting a potential link between low levels of infection in pTfh cells and the ability of the EC patients to spontaneously control HIV replication.
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