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J Immunol. 2008 Jul 15;181(2):1199-206.

CpG oligonucleotides enhance proliferative and effector responses of B Cells in HIV-infected individuals.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Stimulation through TLR represents a new therapeutic approach for enhancing Ab responses to vaccination. Considering that Ab responses are decreased in HIV disease and that B cells express TLR9 and respond to TLR9 agonists, we investigated the responsiveness of B cell subpopulations from HIV-infected and uninfected individuals to the TLR9 agonist CpG oligonucleotide type B (CpG-B) in the presence and absence of BCR ligation and T cell help (CD40L). CpG-B was equally effective in stimulating the proliferation of naive B cells of HIV-infected individuals and HIV-negative individuals, and, when combined with BCR and CD40 ligation, cytokine secretion by naive B cells was also comparable in HIV-infected and uninfected individuals. In contrast, CD27(+) memory/activated B cells of HIV-infected individuals with active disease were less responsive to CpG-B in terms of proliferation and cytokine secretion when compared with CD27(+) B cells of HIV-negative and HIV-infected individuals whose viremia was controlled by antiretroviral therapy. These findings suggest that despite abnormalities in memory B cells of HIV-infected individuals with active disease, naive B cells of HIV-infected individuals, irrespective of disease status, can respond to TLR9 agonists and that the incorporation of such agents in vaccine formulations may enhance their Ab responses to vaccination.

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