Evaluation of memory B cells among perinatally HIV infected children from Houston Texas

German Andres Contreras Cuellar, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background: HIV associated B cell exhaustion is a notable characteristic of HIV viremic adults. However, it is not known if such alterations are present in perinatal HIV infected children, whose viral dynamics differs from those seen in adults. In the present study we perform an analysis of B cells subsets and measure antigen-specific memory B cells (MBC) in a pediatric HIV infected cohort. Methods: Peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMC) of perinatal HIV infected individuals are characterized into naïve (CD21hi/CD27−), classic (CD27+), tissue like (CD21lo/CD27 −) and activated MBC (CD27+CD21− ) by FACS. A memory ELISPOT assay is used to detect antibody secreting cells. We measure total IgG and antibodies specific for influenza, HBV, mumps, measles, rubella and VZV. Memory was expressed as spot forming cells (SPC) /million of PBMC. Wilcoxon rank-sum was used to compare unpaired groups and linear regression analysis was used to determine predictors of B cell dysfunction Results: 41 HIV perinatal infected children are included (51.2% females and 65.9% Black). Age at study is median (range) 8.78 years (4.39-11.57). At the time of testing they have a CD4% of 30.9 (23.2-39.4), a viral load (VL) of 1.95 log10 copies/ml (1.68-3.29) and a cumulative VL of 3.4 log10 copy × days (2.7-4.0). Ninety two percent of the children are on cARV for > 6 months. Overall, HIV+ children compared with controls have a significant lower number of IgG and antigen specific SFC. In addition, they have a lower proportion of classical MBC 12.9 (8.09-19.85) vs 29.4 (18.7-39.05); 0.01, but a significant higher proportion of tissue like memory MBC 6.01 (2.79-12.7) vs 0.99 (0.87-1.38); 0.003, compared with controls. Patients are parsed on VL (<400 and>≥ 400 copies/ml) with the objective to evaluate the effect of VL on B cell status. Patients with a VL ≥ 400 copies/ml have a significantly lower IgG, HBV, measles, rubella and VZV SPC compared with those with a VL < 400 copies/ml. There are no significant differences in B cell subpopulations between the groups. A moderate negative correlation was observed between the time of cARV initiation and the frequency of IgG memory B cells, suggesting that early initiation of cARV appears to lead to a better functionality of the IgG memory B cells (P=0.05). A statistically significant positive correlation was observed between the total number of IgG memory cells and the number of antigen-specific memory B cells/SPCs. Suggesting that the progressive recovery of the IgG memory B cell pull goes along with a progressive increase in the number of antigen-specific SPCs. Conclusion: A pediatric cohort in overall good status with respect to HIV infection and on ART has defects in B cell function and numbers (reduced total and antigen specific MBC and increased tissue like and reduced classical MBC).

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Recommended Citation

Contreras Cuellar, German Andres, "Evaluation of memory B cells among perinatally HIV infected children from Houston Texas" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1544226.