Primary and chronic HIV infection differently modulates mucosal Vδ1 and Vδ2 T-cells differentiation profile and effector functions

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Gut-associated immune system has been identified as a major battlefield during the early phases of HIV infection. γδ T-cells, deeply affected in number and function after HIV infection, are able to act as a first line of defence against invading pathogens by producing antiviral soluble factors and by killing infected cells. Despite the relevant role in mucosal immunity, few data are available on gut-associated γδ T-cells during HIV infection. Aim of this work was to evaluate how primary (P-HIV) and chronic (C-HIV) HIV infection affects differentiation profile and functionality of circulating and gut-associated Vδ1 and Vδ2 T-cells. In particular, circulating and mucosal cells were isolated from respectively whole blood and residual gut samples from HIV-infected subjects with primary and chronic infection and from healthy donors (HD).Differentiation profile and functionality were analyzed by multiparametric flow cytometry. P-HIV and C-HIV were characterized by an increase in the frequency of effector Vδ1-T cells both in circulating and mucosal compartments. Moreover, during PHIV mucosal Vδ1 T-cells expressed high levels of CD107a, suggesting a good effector cytotoxic capability of these cells in the early phase of infection that was lost in C-HIV. P-HIV induced an increase in circulating effector Vδ2 T-cells in comparison to C-HIV and HD. Notably, P-HIV as well as HD were characterized by the ability of mucosal Vδ2 T-cells to spontaneously produce IFN-γ that was lost in C-HIV. Altogether, our data showed for the first time a functional capability of mucosal Vδ1 and Vδ2 T-cells during P-HIV that was lost in C-HIV, suggesting exhaustion mechanisms induced by persistent stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0129771
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 18 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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