image_1_Treatment Intensification in HIV-Infected Patients Is Associated With Reduced Frequencies of Regulatory T Cells.PDF (579.08 kB)

image_1_Treatment Intensification in HIV-Infected Patients Is Associated With Reduced Frequencies of Regulatory T Cells.PDF

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posted on 30.04.2018, 04:24 by Eva M. Grützner, Tanja Hoffmann, Eva Wolf, Elke Gersbacher, Ashley Neizert, Renate Stirner, Ramona Pauli, Albrecht Ulmer, Jürgen Brust, Johannes R. Bogner, Hans Jaeger, Rika Draenert

In untreated HIV infection, the efficacy of T cell responses decreases over the disease course, resulting in disease progression. The reasons for this development are not completely understood. However, immunosuppressive cells are supposedly crucially involved. Treatment strategies to avoid the induction of these cells preserve immune functions and are therefore the object of intense research efforts. In this study, we assessed the effect of treatment intensification [=5-drug antiretroviral therapy (ART)] on the development of suppressive cell subsets. The New Era (NE) study recruited patients with primary HIV infection (PHI) or chronically HIV-infected patients with conventional ART (CHI) and applied an intensified 5-drug regimen containing maraviroc and raltegravir for several years. We compared the frequencies of the immune suppressive cells, namely, the myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), regulatory B cells (Bregs), and regulatory T cells (Tregs), of the treatment intensification patients to the control groups, especially to the patients with conventional 3-drug ART, and analyzed the Gag/Nef-specific CD8 T cell responses. There were no differences between PHI and CHI in the NE population (p > 0.11) for any of the studied cell types. Polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cell (PMN-MDSC), monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell (M-MDSC), and the Breg frequencies were comparable to those of patients with a 3-drug ART. However, the Treg levels were significantly lower in the NE patients than those in 3ART-treated individuals and other control groups (p ≤ 0.0033). The Gag/Nef-specific CD8 T cell response was broader (p = 0.0134) with a higher magnitude (p = 0.026) in the NE population than that in the patients with conventional ART. However, we did not find a correlation between the frequency of the immune suppressive cells and the interferon-gamma+ CD8 T cell response. In the treatment intensification subjects, the frequencies of the immune suppressive cells were comparable or lower than those of the conventional ART-treated subjects, with surprisingly broad HIV-specific CD8 T cell responses, suggesting a preservation of immune function with the applied treatment regimen. Interestingly, these effects were seen in both treatment intensification subpopulations and were not attributed to the start of treatment in primary infection.

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