In the gastro-intestinal tract, the complex network of multiple innate cell populations play critical roles not only as a first line of defense against invading pathogens and in driving adaptive immune responses but also in maintaining intestinal homeostasis. Here, we describe the roles of various innate immune cell populations in gut immunity and detail studies investigating the impact of acute and chronic HIV infection on these cell populations.
Alterations in frequencies, phenotype and/or function of innate lymphoid cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and innate-like T cells have been reported in people with HIV (PWH), with many of these features persisting despite anti-retroviral therapy and virological suppression. Dysregulated gut innate immunity in PWH is a feature of gut pathogenesis. A greater understanding of the mechanisms driving impairment in the multiple different gut innate immune cell populations and the downstream consequences of an altered innate immune response on host defense and gut homeostasis in PWH is needed to develop more effective HIV treatments and cure strategies.