Natural killer cell phenotype is altered in HIV-exposed seronegative women

Nancy Zhao, Elena Vendrame, Anne-Maud Ferreira, Christof Seiler, Thanmayi Ranganath, Michel Alary, Annie-Claude Labbé, Fernand Guédou, Johanne Poudrier, Susan P Holmes, Roger Michel, Catherine A Blish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Highly exposed seronegative (HESN) individuals present a unique setting to study mechanisms of protection against HIV acquisition. As natural killer (NK) cell activation and function have been implicated as a correlate of protection in HESN individuals, we sought to better understand the features of NK cells that may confer protection. We used mass cytometry to phenotypically profile NK cells from a cohort of Beninese sex workers and healthy controls.
We found that NK cells from HESN women had increased expression of NKG2A, NKp30 and LILRB1, as well as the Fc receptor CD16, and decreased expression of DNAM-1, CD94, Siglec-7, and NKp44. Using functional assessments of NK cells from healthy donors against autologous HIV-infected CD4+ T cells, we observed that NKp30+ and Siglec-7+ cells had improved functional activity. Further, we found that NK cells from HESN women trended towards increased antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity; this activity correlated with increased CD16 expression. Overall, we identify features of NK cells in HESN women that may contribute to protection from HIV infection. Follow up studies with larger
cohorts are warranted to confirm these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238347
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • ACQUISITION
  • ACTIVATION
  • ANTIBODY
  • CYTOTOXICITY RESPONSES
  • HLA-B
  • INFECTION
  • KIR3DL1
  • MEDIATED CYTOTOXICITY
  • NK CELLS
  • PROGRESSION

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