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Impairment of B-cell functions during HIV-1 infection

Amu, Sylviea; Ruffin, Nicolasa,b; Rethi, Bencea; Chiodi, Francescaa

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328361a427
Editorial Review

A variety of B-cell dysfunctions are manifested during HIV-1 infection, as reported early during the HIV-1 epidemic. It is not unusual that the pathogenic mechanisms presented to elucidate impairment of B-cell responses during HIV-1 infection focus on the impact of reduced T-cell numbers and functions, and lack of germinal center formation in lymphoid tissues. To our understanding, however, perturbation of B-cell phenotype and function during HIV-1 infection may begin at several different B-cell developmental stages. These impairments can be mediated by intrinsic B-cell defects as well as by the lack of proper T-cell help. In this review, we will highlight some of the pathways and molecular interactions leading to B-cell impairment prior to germinal center formation and B-cell activation mediated through the B-cell receptor in response to HIV-1 antigens. Recent studies indicate a regulatory role for B cells on T-cell biology and immune responses. We will discuss some of these novel findings and how these regulatory mechanisms could potentially be affected by the intrinsic defects of B cells taking place during HIV-1 infection.

aDepartment of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

bInserm, U955, Equipe 16, Créteil, France.

Correspondence to Francesca Chiodi, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Nobels väg 16, S-17177 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: +46 8 52486315; e-mail:

Received 14 March, 2013

Accepted 27 March, 2013

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.