Research ArticleHIV

The receptor repertoire and functional profile of follicular T cells in HIV-infected lymph nodes

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Science Immunology  06 Apr 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 22, eaan8884
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan8884

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Zooming in on human lymph nodes

Follicular helper T cells (TFH) play an essential role in shaping B cell–mediated antibody responses. By obtaining lymph nodes from HIV+ individuals, Wendel et al. have used mass cytometry and TCR sequencing to directly examine the TFH response to HIV. They report that HIV infection alters the clonality of TFH cells with severe infections resulting in pronounced oligoclonal TFH responses. From a functional standpoint, they found that TFH cells in the lymph nodes of HIV+ individuals secreted interleukin-21 but were less polyfunctional as compared with TFH cells from healthy individuals and that this lack of polyfunctionality correlated with impaired isotype switching of B cells in the lymph nodes.