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Mass cytometry identifies distinct CD4+ T cell clusters distinguishing HIV-1-infected patients according to antiretroviral therapy initiation

Bekele, Y., Lakshmikanth, T., Chen, Y. et al.

Recent guidelines recommend antiretroviral therapy (ART) to be administered as early as possible during HIV-1 infection. Few studies addressed the immunological benefit of commencing ART during the acute phase of infection. We used mass cytometry to characterize blood CD4+ T cells from HIV-1–infected patients who initiated ART during acute or chronic phase of infection. Using this method, we analyzed a large number of markers on millions of individual immune cells. The results revealed that CD4+ T cell clusters with high expression of CD27, CD28, CD127, and CD44, whose function involves T cell migration to inflamed tissues and survival, are more abundant in healthy controls and patients initiating ART during the acute phase; on the contrary, CD4+ T cell clusters in patients initiating ART during the chronic phase had reduced expression of these markers. The results are suggestive of a better preserved immune function in HIV-1–infected patients initiating ART during acute infection.

Citation

Bekele, Y., Lakshmikanth, T., Chen, Y. et al. "Mass cytometry identifies distinct CD4+ T cell clusters distinguishing HIV-1-infected patients according to antiretroviral therapy initiation" JCI Insight (2019): doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.125442