Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26558721
AIDS 2016 Jan;30(3):365-76
BACKGROUND: After describing heightened levels of circulating B-cell-activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor superfamily (BAFF) as well as changes in B-cell phenotype and functions during acute infection by simian immunodeficiency virus, we wanted to determine whether and by which cells BAFF was over-expressed in primary HIV-infected (PHI) patients.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We simultaneously examined circulating BAFF levels by ELISA and membrane-bound BAFF (mBAFF) expression by flow cytometry in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy donors and PHI patients followed for 6 months. We also examined whether HIV-1 modifies BAFF expression or release in various myeloid cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) in vitro.
RESULTS: Circulating BAFF levels were transiently increased at enrolment. They positively correlated with CXCL10 levels and inversely with B-cell counts. Whereas mBAFF was expressed by most pDC and on a fraction of intermediate monocytes in healthy donors, the frequency of mBAFF cells significantly increased among nonclassical monocytes and CD1c dendritic cells but decreased among pDC in PHI patients. In contrast to myeloid cells, pDC never released BAFF upon stimulation. Their mBAFF expression was enhanced by HIV-1, independently of type I IFN.
CONCLUSION: Our findings reveal that the pattern of BAFF expression by myeloid cells and pDC is altered in PHI patients and constitutes a valuable marker of immune activation whose circulating levels correlate with CXCL10 levels. Due to their homing in different tissue areas, pDC and myeloid cells might target different B-cell subsets through their mBAFF expression or soluble BAFF release.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26558721