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J Immunol. 2006 Apr 1;176(7):3931-41.

HIV-1 envelope triggers polyclonal Ig class switch recombination through a CD40-independent mechanism involving BAFF and C-type lectin receptors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Abstract

Switching from IgM to IgG and IgA is essential for antiviral immunity and requires engagement of CD40 on B cells by CD40L on CD4(+) T cells. HIV-1 is thought to impair CD40-dependent production of protective IgG and IgA by inducing progressive loss of CD4(+) T cells. Paradoxically, this humoral immunodeficiency is associated with B cell hyperactivation and increased production of nonprotective IgG and IgA that are either nonspecific or specific for HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins, including gp120. Nonspecific and gp120-specific IgG and IgA are sensitive to antiretroviral therapy and remain sustained in infected individuals with very few CD4(+) T cells. One interpretation is that some HIV-1 Ags elicit IgG and IgA class switch DNA recombination (CSR) in a CD40-independent fashion. We show that a subset of B cells binds gp120 through mannose C-type lectin receptors (MCLRs). In the presence of gp120, MCLR-expressing B cells up-regulate the CSR-inducing enzyme, activation-induced cytidine deaminase, and undergo CSR from IgM to IgG and IgA. CSR is further enhanced by IL-4 or IL-10, whereas Ab secretion requires a B cell-activating factor of the TNF family. This CD40L-related molecule is produced by monocytes upon CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4 engagement by gp120 and cooperates with IL-4 and IL-10 to up-regulate MCLRs on B cells. Thus, gp120 may elicit polyclonal IgG and IgA responses by linking the innate and adaptive immune systems through the B cell-activating factor of the TNF family. Chronic activation of B cells through this CD40-independent pathway could impair protective T cell-dependent Ab responses by inducing immune exhaustion.

PMID:
16547227
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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