Chronic HIV infection causes persistent low-grade inflammation that induces premature aging of the immune system including senescence of memory and effector CD8 T cells. To uncover the reasons of gradually diminished potency of CD8 T cells from people living with HIV, here we expose the T cells to planar lipid bilayers containing ligands for T-cell receptor and a T-cell integrins and analyze the cellular morphology, dynamics of synaptic interface formation and patterns of the cellular degranulation. We find a large fraction of phenotypically naive T cells from chronically infected people are capable to form mature synapse with focused degranulation, a signature of a differentiated T cells. Further, differentiation of aberrant naive T cells may lead to the development of anomalous effector T cells undermining their capacity to control HIV and other pathogens that could be contained otherwise.
Anikeeva, Nadia; Steblyanko, Maria; Kuri-Cervantes, Leticia; Buggert, Marcus; Betts, Michael R.; and Sykulev, Yuri, "The Immune Synapses Reveal Aberrant Functions of CD8 T Cells During Chronic HIV Infection" (2022). Department of Microbiology and Immunology Faculty Papers. Paper 164.
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