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Anti-α4β7 therapy targets lymphoid aggregates in the gastrointestinal tract of HIV-1–infected individuals

Uzzan, M., Tokuyama, M., Rosenstein, A.K. et al.

Gut homing CD4+ T cells expressing the integrin α4β7 are early viral targets and contribute to HIV-1 pathogenesis, likely by seeding the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with HIV. Although simianized anti-α4β7 monoclonal antibodies have shown promise in preventing or attenuating the disease course of simian immunodeficiency virus in nonhuman primate studies, the mechanisms of drug action remain elusive. We present a cohort of individuals with mild inflammatory bowel disease and concomitant HIV-1 infection receiving anti-α4β7 treatment. By sampling the immune inductive and effector sites of the GI tract, we have discovered that anti-α4β7 therapy led to a significant and unexpected attenuation of lymphoid aggregates, most notably in the terminal ileum. Given that lymphoid aggregates serve as important sanctuary sites for maintaining viral reservoirs, their attrition by anti-α4β7 therapy has important implications for HIV-1 therapeutics and eradication efforts and defines a rational basis for the use of anti-α4β7 therapy in HIV-1 infection.

Citation

Uzzan, M., Tokuyama, M., Rosenstein, A.K. et al. "Anti-α4β7 therapy targets lymphoid aggregates in the gastrointestinal tract of HIV-1–infected individuals" Science Translational Medicine (2019): 461