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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02003

Airway CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cell depletion during Untreated HIV infection Targets CD103-expressing cells

 Leonard Mvaya1,  Andrew Mwale1,  Annemarie Hummel1,  Joseph Phiri1, Raphael kamng'ona1,  David T. Mzinza1, Elizabeth Chimbayo1, Rose Malamba1, Anstead Kankwatira1,  Henry C. Mwandumba1, 2 and  Kondwani C. Jambo1, 2*
  • 1Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Malawi
  • 2Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

HIV-infected adults are at an increased risk to lower respiratory tract infections. CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells are an innate-like T cell subset that are thought to play an important role in early defence against pathogens in the respiratory tract. HIV infection leads to irreversible depletion of these cells in peripheral blood, however, its impact on this subset in the human airway is still unclear. Here, we show presence of CD103-expressing CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells in the airway that exhibited a distinct cytokine functional profile compared to their CD103- airway counterparts and those from peripheral blood. These CD103-expressing airway CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells were selectively depleted in untreated HIV-infected adults compared to healthy controls. Their frequency was positively correlated with frequency of airway CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, the frequency of airway CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells was also positively correlated with HIV plasma viral load, while suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) resulted in restoration of airway CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells. Our findings show that CD103-expressing airway CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells are functionally distinct and are preferentially depleted during untreated chronic HIV infection. Depletion of CD103-expressing airway CD8+CD161++TCRvalpha7.2+ T cells, at a major portal of pathogen entry, could partly contribute to the increased propensity for opportunistic lower respiratory tract infections observed in untreated HIV-infected adults.

Keywords: airway, HIV, CD103, CD8 T cell, Adult

Received: 17 May 2019; Accepted: 07 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

Mats Bemark, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Reviewed by:

Esaki M SHANKAR, Central University of Tamil Nadu, India
Edwin Leeansyah, Karolinska Institute (KI), Sweden  

Copyright: © 2019 Mvaya, Mwale, Hummel, Phiri, kamng'ona, Mzinza, Chimbayo, Malamba, Kankwatira, Mwandumba and Jambo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Kondwani C. Jambo, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom, Kondwani.Jambo@lstmed.ac.uk