UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

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Program in Molecular Medicine

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Immunology of Infectious Disease | Immunopathology | Immunoprophylaxis and Therapy | Immunotherapy | Infectious Disease | Pediatrics | Virus Diseases


HIV infection results in a state of chronic immune activation leading to premature immune aging, B-cells dysfunction, that persists despite prolonged virological suppression. In this scenario, adolescence living with perinatally acquired HIV (PHIV), deserve a peculiar attention since potentially exposed for their entire life to chronic immune activation. Here we identified determinants of precocious aging B cells in 40 PHIV undergoing suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) for median 13.5 years. All individuals started ART by 2nd year of life and achieved virus suppression within the 1st year of ART, with majority of patient maintaining suppression until analysis and 5/40 experiencing viral Spike (transient elevation of HIV-1 VL, 50-999 copies/ml). We employed a multiomics approach including deep immunological B and T cell phenotype in PBMC, with aging B cells defined by the expression of T-bet and CD11c; plasma proteomics analysis by mass spectrometry and serum level of anti-measles antibodies as correlates of humoral response. We found that individuals with expansion of aging B cell, defined by the expression of T-bet+CD11c+, were those starting treatment later, presenting detectable levels of cell-associated HIV-1 RNA, history of Spikes, and a higher frequency of exhausted T-cells, including those expressing PD-1, LAG3, TIGIT. Accordingly, the proteomic analysis revealed that subjects with expansion of aging B cells and exhausted T cells had enrichment of proteins involved in immune inflammation and complement activation pathways, such as CLU and APCS which are also involved in tumor progression. Signs of precocious aging were associated with a reduced capacity to maintain virological memory against measles vaccination. To our knowledge, this is the first study focusing on precocious B-cell aging and dysfunctionality in PHIV with long-term virological suppression. Our experimental strategy enabled identification of clinical, viral, cellular and plasma soluble markers associated with B-cells aging. Our results pave the way to further define risk of disease progression or lymphoproliferative disorders in PHIV.


perinatal HIV/AIDS, immune activation, late ART, aging B-cells, exhausted T-cells, 140 T-bet, CD11c, proteomic profiling, caHIV-1 RNA

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bioRxiv 2021.11.11.468189; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.