Persistence of Activated and Adaptive-Like NK Cells in HIV+ Individuals despite 2 Years of Suppressive Combination Antiretroviral Therapy

Abstract

Innate immune dysfunction persists in HIV+ individuals despite effective combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). We recently demonstrated that an adaptive-like CD56dim NK cell population lacking the signal transducing protein FcRγ is expanded in HIV+ individuals. Here, we analyzed a cohort of HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM, n = 20) at baseline and following 6, 12, and 24 months of cART and compared them with uninfected MSM (n = 15) to investigate the impact of cART on NK cell dysfunction. Proportions of NK cells expressing markers of early (CD69+) and late (HLA-DR+/CD38+) activation were elevated in cART-naïve HIV+ MSM (p = 0.004 and 0.015, respectively), as were FcRγ- NK cells (p = 0.003). Using latent growth curve modeling, we show that cART did not reduce levels of FcRγ- NK cells (p = 0.115) or activated HLA-DR+/CD38+ NK cells (p = 0.129) but did reduce T cell and monocyte activation (p < 0.001 for all). Proportions of FcRγ- NK cells were not associated with NK cell, T cell, or monocyte activation, suggesting different factors drive CD56dim FcRγ- NK cell expansion and immune activation in HIV+ individuals. While proportions of activated CD69+ NK cells declined significantly on cART (p = 0.003), the rate was significantly slower than the decline of T cell and monocyte activation, indicating a reduced potency of cART against NK cell activation. Our findings indicate that 2 years of suppressive cART have no impact on CD56dim FcRγ- NK cell expansion and that NK cell activation persists after normalization of other immune parameters. This may have implications for the development of malignancies and co-morbidities in HIV+ individuals on cART.

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00731

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hearps2017PersistenceOA, title={Persistence of Activated and Adaptive-Like NK Cells in HIV+ Individuals despite 2 Years of Suppressive Combination Antiretroviral Therapy}, author={Anna C. Hearps and Paul A Agius and Jingling Zhou and Samantha J. Brunt and Mkunde Chachage and Thomas A Angelovich and Paul U Cameron and Michelle L Giles and Patricia Price and Julian H. Elliott and Anthony Jaworowski}, booktitle={Front. Immunol.}, year={2017} }