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J Immunol. 2003 Jun 15;170(12):5965-72.

Deleterious effect of HIV-1 plasma viremia on B cell costimulatory function.

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Department of Health and Human Services, Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


HIV infection leads to numerous immunologic defects, including impaired B cell function. An effective humoral response requires bidirectional interactions between B cells and CD4(+) T cells, critical of which are interactions between CD80/CD86 expressed on activated B cells and CD28 expressed on responder CD4(+) T cells. In the present study, we examined the effect of active HIV replication on B cell costimulatory function. Induction of CD80/CD86 on B cells following B cell receptor and CD40 triggering and responsiveness of CD4(+) T cells to activated B cells were investigated in a system where B cells of HIV-infected patients were compared concurrently to B cells of HIV-negative donors. In contrast to HIV-aviremic patients, B cells of HIV-viremic patients were ineffective at stimulating CD4(+) T cells, as measured by the induction of activation markers and proliferation. The importance of interactions of CD80/CD86 and CD28 in activating CD4(+) T cells was clear; the ablation of a normal response following the addition of neutralizing anti-CD86/CD80 Abs mirrored the response of CD4(+) T cells to B cells of HIV-viremic patients, while the addition of exogenous CD28 ligands partially restored the poor CD4(+) T cell response to the B cells of HIV-viremic patients. Ineffective B cell costimulatory function in HIV-viremic patients was associated with low induction of CD80/CD86 expression on B cells. Our findings further delineate the scope of defects associated with cognate B cell-CD4(+) T cell interactions in HIV infection and suggest that therapeutic interventions designed to enhance CD28-dependent costimulatory pathways may help restore immune functions.

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