The gut mucosa is an important site of HIV immunopathogenesis with severe depletion of CD4 T cells occurring during acute infection. The effect of prolonged anti-retroviral therapy (ART) on cycling and restoration of T lymphocytes in the gut remains unclear. Colon and terminal ileal biopsies and peripheral blood samples were collected from viremic, untreated, HIV-infected participants, patients treated with prolonged ART (>5 years), and uninfected controls and analyzed by flow cytometry. In the gut, the proportion of cycling T cells decreased and the number of CD4 T cells normalized in treated patients in parallel with Β7 expression on CD4 T cells in blood. Cycling of gut T cells in viremic patients was associated with increased plasma LPS levels, but not colonic HIV-RNA. These data suggest that gut T-cell activation and microbial translocation may be interconnected whereas prolonged ART may decrease activation and restore gut CD4 T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy