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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 395484, 11 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Th17 and Tc17 Frequencies and Antiviral Defenses in Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue of Chronic HIV-1 Positive Patients

1Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, University of Rome “Sapienza”, 00185 Rome, Italy
2Pasteur Institute-Cenci Bolognetti Foundation, 00161 Rome, Italy
3Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Italian Institute of Health, 00161 Rome, Italy
4Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Virology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
5Department of Clinical and Molecular Biomedicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Catania, 95122 Catania, Italy

Received 27 February 2015; Revised 7 May 2015; Accepted 21 May 2015

Academic Editor: Jianfei Yang

Copyright © 2015 Gabriella d’Ettorre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The complex relationship between both the Th1/Th17 and Tc1/Tc17 axis and innate defences in the intestinal mucosa during HIV-1 infection has not been well characterized. This study examined the frequency, phenotype, and functional status of T cell populations in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and peripheral blood of virologically suppressed HIV-1-infected patients on therapy, focusing on the Th1, Th17, Tc1, and Tc17 cell subsets. We found a persistent immune cell activation (CD38 and HLADR expression) into the GALT despite the higher levels of Th17 and Tc17 in respect to peripheral blood. An upregulation of type I IFN response in GALT compared to the peripheral blood compartment was also recorded. Furthermore, IFN-α/β levels were negatively related to the frequencies of Th1 naïve cells and Tc1 cell subsets (naïve, central memory, and effector memory) in the GALT. In contrast, no relationships between type I IFN response and Th1 or Tc1 cell subsets in peripheral blood compartment and between IFN-α/β and Th17/Tc17 in both GALT and peripheral blood district were recorded. These data indicate that prolonged antiretroviral treatment improves GALT immune function despite the persistence of immune activation and type I IFN response in chronic HIV-1 positive patients.