Maladaptive immune responses contribute to the pathogenesis of many chronic lung diseases. Here, we tested hypotheses that CD4 and CD8 T-cell and monocyte phenotypes are associated with lung function in people living with HIV and those without HIV.
Markers of T cell differentiation, activation, exhaustion and senescence, and markers of monocyte recruitment and migration were quantified in 142 HIV-positive and 73 HIV-negative participants of the Pittsburgh HIV Lung Cohort. All participants underwent lung function testing.
CD4 or CD8 T-cell phenotypes were not associated with measures of lung function in HIV-positive or HIV-negative participants after adjustment for multiple comparisons. In HIV-positive participants, however, the percentage of classical monocytes that were CD11b+ had positive associations at the Bonferroni-adjusted significance threshold of P = 0.05/63 with prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio (β = 0.36; P = 0.00003 and β = 0.31; P = 0.0003, respectively). In stratified analyses of n = 87 participants with CD4 ≥ 500 cells/µL, associations of percentage of classical monocytes that were CD11b+ with prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio were stronger (β = 0.48 and β = 0.41, for pre- and post-, respectively) than in the entire HIV-positive study population. Significant associations of monocyte phenotypes were not observed in HIV-negative participants after adjustment for multiple comparisons.
CD11b+ expression on classical monocytes is positively associated with FEV1/FVC ratio in people living with HIV including in those with CD4 T-cell recovery. Given the normal surveillance activity of monocytes, such association suggests this monocyte subset may play a role in preservation of pulmonary function in PLWH.