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The dysfunction of T follicular helper cells

Cubas, Rafaela; Perreau, Matthieub

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: September 2014 - Volume 9 - Issue 5 - p 485–491
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000095
CELL EXHAUSTION IN HIV-1 INFECTION: Edited by Daniel E. Kaufmann and Nabila Seddiki

Purpose of review T follicular helper (Tfh) cells play a critical role as providers of B-cell help and dysfunction in Tfh/B-cell interactions can lead to autoimmunity or immunodeficiency. These observations have generated a great deal of interest in understanding how these cells are affected during HIV infection and how their functional changes might affect antibody responses.

Recent findings Recent studies have shown that HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection affects both Tfh-cell frequency and function and suggest that Tfh-cell perturbations might contribute to the relative inefficiency of HIV-infected individuals to generate broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs).

Summary The present review will highlight these recent findings addressing the role of Tfh cells in HIV infection as well as the impact HIV infection has on Tfh and circulating memory Tfh (cTfh) cell frequency and function.

aVaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA

bDivisions of Immunology and Allergy, Lausanne University Hospital, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Correspondence to Dr Matthieu Perreau, Division of Immunology and Allergy, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne 1011, Switzerland. Tel: +41213141073; e-mail:

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.