HTLV infected individuals have increased B-cell activation and proinflammatory regulatory T-cells

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Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) affects the human immune system in many ways, most notably by inducing proliferation of infected CD4 + T cells, but several other cell types are also affected. To characterize the effects of HTLV infection, we analysed blood samples from HTLV-infected individuals by flow cytometry. Samples were collected from visitors at the HIV clinic in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. These samples were tested for HTLV and HIV, and 199 were analysed by flow cytometry using panels for B cells, T-cell maturation and activation, regulatory T cells (Tregs) and monocytes. CD80+ cell proportions were significantly higher in HTLV infected than in HTLV uninfected in all B cell subsets. Among T cells, there was no change in cell distribution between maturation stages, but a higher CD25+ proportion among Tregs (61.1 % vs 36.3 %, p < 0.001) in HTLV infected than in HTLV uninfected. The level of CD49d on individual cells was also higher (MFI 2734.5 vs 1,041, p < 0.001). In HTLV infected individuals, CD8 + T cells had a lower proportion of CTLA-4+ (2.5 % vs 3.5 %, 0.048) and higher PD1+ proportion on the CD45RO + subset (81.6 % vs 77.1 %, p < 0.001). Together, these findings point toward reduced regulation in HTLV + patients, which leads to immune activation. This study corroborates previous findings and offers new insight into the effects of HTLV by providing a broad flowcytometric analysis of immune cells in HTLV + individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151878
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • CD49d, CD80, HIV, HTLV, Immune dysregulation, Spectral flow cytometry

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