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J Immunol. 2015 Oct 1;195(7):3237-47. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1402701. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Decreased T Follicular Regulatory Cell/T Follicular Helper Cell (TFH) in Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Rhesus Macaques May Contribute to Accumulation of TFH in Chronic Infection.

Author information

  • 1Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA30329;
  • 2Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA30329; Departamento de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, "Ismael Cosio Villegas," Tlapan, Sección XVI, 14080 City of Mexico Federal District, Mexico; and.
  • 3Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA30329; Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30329.
  • 4Departamento de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, "Ismael Cosio Villegas," Tlapan, Sección XVI, 14080 City of Mexico Federal District, Mexico; and.
  • 5Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA30329; gsilves@emory.edu.

Abstract

T follicular helper cells (TFH) are critical for the development and maintenance of germinal center (GC) and humoral immune responses. During chronic HIV/SIV infection, TFH accumulate, possibly as a result of Ag persistence. The HIV/SIV-associated TFH expansion may also reflect lack of regulation by suppressive follicular regulatory CD4(+) T cells (TFR). TFR are natural regulatory T cells (TREG) that migrate into the follicle and, similar to TFH, upregulate CXCR5, Bcl-6, and PD1. In this study, we identified TFR as CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+)CXCR5(+)PD1(hi)Bcl-6(+) within lymph nodes of rhesus macaques (RM) and confirmed their localization within the GC by immunohistochemistry. RNA sequencing showed that TFR exhibit a distinct transcriptional profile with shared features of both TFH and TREG, including intermediate expression of FOXP3, Bcl-6, PRDM1, IL-10, and IL-21. In healthy, SIV-uninfected RM, we observed a negative correlation between frequencies of TFR and both TFH and GC B cells, as well as levels of CD4(+) T cell proliferation. Post SIV infection, the TFR/TFH ratio was reduced with no change in the frequency of TREG or TFR within the total CD4(+) T cell pool. Finally, we examined whether higher levels of direct virus infection of TFR were responsible for their relative depletion post SIV infection. We found that TFH, TFR, and TREG sorted from SIV-infected RM harbor comparable levels of cell-associated viral DNA. Our data suggest that TFR may contribute to the regulation and proliferation of TFH and GC B cells in vivo and that a decreased TFR/TFH ratio in chronic SIV infection may lead to unchecked expansion of both TFH and GC B cells.

Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

PMID:
26297764
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4575868
[Available on 2016-10-01]
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