AIDS research and human retroviruses 2017 09 07() doi 10.1089/AID.2017.0208
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract harbors most of the body’s immune cells and is also a major HIV reservoir in ART-treated patients. To achieve a cure, most HIV-infected cells must be identified and eliminated. While obtaining gut biopsies is a relatively non-invasive method of sampling relevant tissue for monitoring HIV activity, immune cell isolation from these limited tissue samples has proven to be challenging. Enzymatic tissue digestion is required for maximal immune cell isolation from gut biopsies. However, these enzymatic digestions can also be detrimental for preservation of cellular surface markers that are required for accurate identification of various subsets of leukocytes. Here we describe an optimized protocol for isolation of lymphocytes from human gut biopsies. We also discuss our validation results, which show that compared to several other collagenase preparations, the use of CSLPA maintains high lymphocyte recovery while preserving the integrity of most cellular surface antigens that we tested. Importantly, chemokine receptors that are used to characterize various subsets of T cells, which are notorious for being digested during a typical enzymatic tissue digestion, are highly preserved using this protocol.