B-cell and T-cell activation in South African HIV-1-positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients
CITATION: Flepisi, B. T., et al. 2018. B-cell and T-cell activation in South African HIV-1-positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients. Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine, 19(1):a809, doi:10.4102/sajhivmed.v19i1.809.
The original publication is available at https://sajhivmed.org.za
Background: Altered immune mechanisms play a critical role in the pathogenesis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). HIV-1 (HIV) infection is associated with a state of excessive T-cell activation, which can lead to increased T-cell turnover and lymph node fibrosis. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the serum levels of circulating B-cell activation markers, and the expression of T-cell activation and regulatory markers in HIV-positive NHL patients. Method: The serum levels of circulating soluble(s) sCD20, sCD23, sCD27, sCD30 and sCD44 molecules, all of which are biomarkers of B-cell activation, were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), while biomarkers of T-cell activation (CD8+CD38+) and regulation (FoxP3) were determined by flow cytometry in 141 subjects who were divided into five groups: Combination antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve HIV-positive patients; ART-treated HIV-positive patients; HIV-negative NHL patients; HIV-positive NHL patients on ART; and healthy controls. Results: HIV-positive NHL patients had significantly higher serum levels of sCD20, sCD23, sCD30 and sCD44 than HIV-negative NHL patients, while all five biomarkers were significantly elevated in HIV-positive NHL patients when compared with ART-treated HIV-positive patients. HIV-positive NHL patients had higher CD8+CD38+ and lower FoxP3 expression than HIV-negative NHL and ART-treated HIV-positive patients. Conclusion: B-cell activation is increased in HIV-positive NHL patients and is associated with reduced regulatory T-cell populations and increased CD8+ T-cell activation.