Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 2017 08 09() doi 10.1111/liv.13544
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are important innate T-cells with anti-microbial and immunoregulatory activity, recently found to be depleted in blood of patients with HIV and HCV mono-infections. In this study, we assessed the impact of HIV, HCV and HCV/HIV co-infection on circulating and intrahepatic MAIT-cells and correlations with liver fibrosis.
In this cross-sectional study, 9 healthy subjects, 9 HIV, 20 HCV and 22 HCV/HIV co-infected patients were included. Blood and liver fine needle aspirate biopsies were studied using flowcytometry for CD3(+) CD161(+) Vα7.2(+) MAIT-cell frequency, phenotype and function in HCV mono-infected and HCV/HIV co-infected patients without or with mild fibrosis (Metavir-score F0-F1) or severe fibrosis to cirrhosis (Metavir-score F3-F4).
Circulating MAIT-cells were decreased in blood of HCV, HIV and HCV/HIV patients with F0-F1. In HCV/HIV co-infected individuals with severe fibrosis to cirrhosis, the frequency of circulating MAIT-cells was even further depleted, whereas their function was comparable to HCV/HIV co-infected patients with low or absent fibrosis. In contrast, in HCV mono-infected patients, MAIT-cell frequencies were not related to fibrosis severity; however, MAIT-cell function was impaired in mono-infected patients with more fibrosis. More advanced liver fibrosis in HCV or HCV/HIV-infected patients was not reflected by increased accumulation of MAIT-cells in the affected liver.
Severe liver fibrosis is associated with dysfunctional MAIT-cells in blood of HCV mono-infected patients, and lower MAIT frequencies in blood of HCV/HIV co-infected patients, without evidence for accumulation in the liver. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.