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Myeloid and lymphoid activation markers in AIDS and non-AIDS presenters.

Abstract

HIV infection is characterized by a state of chronic activation of the immune system, which is not completely reversed by antiretroviral treatment (ART). The aim of this study was to assess myeloid and lymphoid activation markers during HIV infection, before and one year after ART initiation, in AIDS and non-AIDS presenters. Treatment naïve HIV positive patients were enrolled in this study. Myeloid dendritic cell (mDC), plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC), slanDC, monocyte and T-lymphocyte cell counts and activation status, were assessed by flow cytometry in peripheral blood samples. Soluble (s)CD14 and sCD163 were assessed in plasma samples using ELISA assays. Statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism and Minitab Express. Thirty-four ART naïve HIV-1 infected subjects were enrolled in this study (22 non-AIDS and 12 AIDS presenters). Seventeen healthy donors (HD) were included as control group. Although circulating mDC levels resulted unchanged, HLA-DR expression was decreased on mDCs of HIV positive subjects compared to HD (p < 0,0001). AIDS presenters showed the lowest level of expression of HLA-DR on mDCs. Circulating levels of pDCs were decreased in HIV patients compared to HD (p < 0,001), without any changes in HLA-DR expression. SlanDC cell counts were extremely reduced in AIDS presenters, compared to non-AIDS presenters and HD (p < 0,01 and p < 0,0001, respectively) and showed higher HLA-DR expression in HIV patients compared to HD (p < 0,01). Intermediate monocyte (IM) cell counts were increased in AIDS and non-AIDS presenters compared to HD (p < 0,001 and p < 0,001 respectively). Furthermore, IM expansion was directly correlated to HIV viral load (p = 0,036) and independent from CD4 cell counts and activation levels. Plasma concentrations of sCD14 and sCD163 resulted increased in HIV infected subjects compared to HD (p < 0,0001 and p < 0,001), with the highest levels observed in AIDS presenters. After 1 year, ART was able to increase pDC and decrease IM absolute cell counts and modify HLA-DR expression on mDCs and slanDCs, approaching the levels observed in HD. ART reduced also CD4 and CD8 activation levels. In conclusion, in untreated HIV infected subjects circulating dendritic cells resulted altered either in numbers or in HLA-DR expression, especially in AIDS presenters. IM absolute counts were equally increased in AIDS and non-AIDS presenters. ART was able to reduce myeloid and lymphoid inflammation in both advanced and non-advanced HIV patients, confirming the role of ART in hampering disease progression and immune activation associated non-AIDS events.

Authors: Iannetta M, Savinelli S, Rossi R, Mascia C, Marocco R, Vita S, Zuccalà P, Zingaropoli MA, Mengoni F, Massetti AP, Falciano M, dEttorre G, Ciardi MR, Mastroianni CM, Vullo V, Lichtner M.
Journal: Immunobiology. 2019 Mar;224(2):231-241
Year: 2019
PubMed: Find in PubMed