CD14(high)CD16(+) rather than CD14(low)CD16(+) monocytes correlate with disease progression in chronic HIV-infected patients

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Dec;52(5):553-9. doi: 10.1097/qai.0b013e3181c1d4fe.


Objective: CD14(+)CD16(+) monocytes are an important cellular target for HIV-1 entry and expand in the peripheral blood of HIV-infected individuals. Because CD14(+)CD16(+) monocytes are a heterogeneous population and consist of CD14(high)CD16(+) and CD14(low)CD16(+) subsets, we evaluated the effects of HIV infection on distinct subsets of CD16(+) monocytes.

Methods: Untreated HIV-infected patients were recruited to investigate the relationship between the proportions of monocyte subsets with plasma viral loads and CD4(+) T-cell counts. Patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were followed up in a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study.

Results: Compared with CD14(low)CD16(+), CD14(high)CD16(+) monocytes showed higher levels of CD64 and HLA-DR antigens, which imply that these 2 distinct subsets have different immunoregulatory phenotypes. In HAART-naive patients, elevated proportions of CD14(high)CD16(+) monocytes were correlated with increased viral loads and decreased CD4(+) T-cell counts, whereas CD14(low)CD16(+) monocytes did not show such correlation with disease progression. Of importance, HAART recovered the proportion of CD14(high)CD16(+) monocytes, whereas CD14(low)CD16(+) monocytes did not decrease during 1 year of antiviral therapy.

Conclusions: Taken together, our observations elucidate distinct immune responses of monocyte subsets during HIV infection and antiviral therapy and provide new insight into the roles of innate immunity in HIV-related pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology*
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Receptors, IgG