Pathogenic correlates of simian immunodeficiency virus-associated B cell dysfunction

Egidio Brocca-Cofano, David Kuhrt, Basile Siewe, Cuiling Xu, George S. Haret-Richter, Jodi Craigo, Celia Labranche, David C. Montefiori, Alan Landay, Cristian Apetrei, Ivona Pandrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compared and contrasted pathogenic (in pig-tailed macaques [PTMs]) and nonpathogenic (in African green monkeys [AGMs]) SIVsab infections to assess the significance of the B cell dysfunction observed in simian (SIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. We report that the loss of B cells is specifically associated with the pathogenic SIV infection, while in the natural hosts, in which SIV is nonpathogenic, B cells rapidly increase in both lymph nodes (LNs) and intestine. SIVassociated B cell dysfunction associated with the pathogenic SIV infection is characterized by loss of naive B cells, loss of resting memory B cells due to their redistribution to the gut, increases of the activated B cells and circulating tissue-like memory B cells, and expansion of the B regulatory cells (Bregs). While circulating B cells are virtually restored to preinfection levels during the chronic pathogenic SIV infection, restoration is mainly due to an expansion of the "exhausted," virus-specific B cells, i.e., activated memory cells and tissue-like memory B cells. Despite of the B cell dysfunction, SIV-specific antibody (Ab) production was higher in the PTMs than in AGMs, with the caveat that rapid disease progression in PTMs was strongly associated with lack of anti-SIV Ab. Neutralization titers and the avidity and maturation of immune responses did not differ between pathogenic and nonpathogenic infections, with the exception of the conformational epitope recognition, which evolved from low to high conformations in the natural host. The patterns of humoral immune responses in the natural host are therefore more similar to those observed in HIV-infected subjects, suggesting that natural hosts may be more appropriate for modeling the immunization strategies aimed at preventing HIV disease progression. The numerous differences between the pathogenic and nonpathogenic infections with regard to dynamics of the memory B cell subsets point to their role in the pathogenesis of HIV/SIV infections and suggest that monitoring B cells may be a reliable approach for assessing disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01051-17
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • B cell
  • Follicular T helper cells
  • Humoral immune response
  • Immune activation
  • Nonpathogenic infection
  • Pathogenic infection
  • Simian immunodeficiency virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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