Article CC BY-NC 4.0

Compartmentalized T cell profile in the lungs of patients with HIV-1-associated pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma


Pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma (pKS) caused by Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is a devastating form of KS in patients with advanced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Blood T cells play a central role in the response of HIV-1 and HHV-8. However, little information is available on T cells in the alveolar space of HIV-1-associated pKS patients.Therefore, we examined CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in the alveolar space in comparison with the blood of patients with pKS. We recruited 26 HIV-1 positive patients with KS, including 15 patients with pKS. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells and blood mononuclear cells were analyzed for T cell memory phenotypes, surface markers associated with exhaustion, and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) using flow cytometry. HIV-1 and HHV-8 viral loads were measured in plasma by quantitative PCR.BAL T cells showed reduced inflammatory capacities and significantly diminished polyfunctionality compared to blood T cells from patients with pKS. This was not accompanied by increased expression of exhaustion markers, such as TIM-3 and PD-1.More importantly, we found a negative correlation between the production of MIP1-β and TNF-α in T cells in BAL and blood, indicating compartmentalised immune responses to pKS and accentuated chronic HIV-1/HHV-8 pathogenesis via T cells in the lungs of people with pKS.



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