Selective loss of early differentiated, highly functional pd1high CD4 T cells with HIV progression

Robert M. Paris, Constantinos Petrovas, Sara Ferrando-Martinez, Eirini Moysi, Kristin L. Boswell, Eva Archer, Takuya Yamamoto, David Ambrozak, Joseph P. Casazza, Richard Haubrich, Mark Connors, Julie Ake, Jerome H. Kim, Richard A. Koup

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13 Scopus citations


The role of PD-1 expression on CD4 T cells during HIV infection is not well understood. Here, we describe the differential expression of PD-1 in CD127high CD4 T cells within the early/intermediate differentiated (EI) (CD27highCD45RAlow) T cell population among uninfected and HIV-infected subjects, with higher expression associated with decreased viral replication (HIV-1 viral load). A significant loss of circulating PD-1highCTLA-4low CD4 T cells was found specifically in the CD127highCD27highCD45RAlow compartment, while initiation of antiretroviral treatment, particularly in subjects with advanced disease, reversed these dynamics. Increased HIV-1 Gag DNA was also found in PD-1high compared to PD-1low ED CD4 T cells. In line with an increased susceptibility to HIV infection, PD-1 expression in this CD4 T cell subset was associated with increased activation and expression of the HIV coreceptor, CCR5. Rather than exhaustion, this population produced more IFN-g, MIP1-a, IL- 4, IL-10, and IL-17a compared to PD-1low EI CD4 T cells. In line with our previous findings, PD-1high EI CD4 T cells were also characterized by a high expression of CCR7, CXCR5 and CCR6, a phenotype associated with increased in vitro B cell help. Our data show that expression of PD-1 on early-differentiated CD4 T cells may represent a population that is highly functional, more susceptible to HIV infection and selectively lost in chronic HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144767
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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