Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999) 2018 04 10() doi 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001700
Despite advances made with the highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) in the control of the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV) infection, a cure has not been achieved due to the persistence of viral reservoirs. The major HIV reservoirs remain in the lymphoid follicles due to, among other factors, the partial absence of CD8T-cells in these structures. Recently, lymphoid follicle-confined and circulating CD8T-cells expressing the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CXCR5) were described, possessing antiviral mechanisms which could help to control HIV replication.
and methods: By flow cytometry, we characterized the phenotype and function of circulating CXCR5-expressing CD8T-cells in HIV-infected patients with natural or HAART-induced control of HIV replication.
Circulating CXCR5-expressing CD8T-cells exhibited low or null expression of the C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) and had a transitional memory phenotype. Particular redistributions of CXCR5-expressing CD8T-cells were found in HIV-infected patients, and they were partially restored by HAART. The frequency of CXCR5CCR7CD8T-cells was higher in spontaneous HIV controllers and negatively correlated with plasma HIV RNA levels. Total and HIV-specific CXCR5CD8T-cells were major producers of interleukin-21, and this function was positively associated with their interferon-γ production.
Circulating CXCR5-expressing CD8T-cells are associated with low level HIV replication, could be novel correlates of protection and potentially useful in the eradication of HIV reservoirs.