Paradoxical aging in HIV: immune senescence of B Cells is most prominent in young age

Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Apr;9(4):1307-1325. doi: 10.18632/aging.101229.


Combination antiretroviral therapies (cART)can lead to normal life expectancy in HIV-infected persons, and people aged >50 yrs represent the fastest growing HIV group. Although HIV and aging are independently associated with impaired humoral immunity, immune status in people aging with HIV is relatively unexplored. In this study influenza vaccination was used to probe age associated perturbations in the B cell compartment of HIV-negative "healthy controls" (HC) and virologically controlled HIV-infected participants on cART (HIV) (n=124), grouped by age as young (<40 yrs), middle-aged (40-59yrs) or old (>60 yrs). H1N1 antibody response at d21 post-vaccination correlated inversely with age in both HC and HIV. Immunophenotyping of cryopreserved PBMC demonstrated increased frequencies of double negative B cells and decreased plasmablasts in old compared to young HC. Remarkably, young HIV were different from young HC but similar to old HC in B cell phenotype, influenza specific spontaneous (d7) or memory (d21) antibody secreting cells. We conclude that B cell immune senescence is a prominent phenomenon in young HIV in comparison to young HC, but distinctions between old HIV and old HC are less evident though both groups manifest age-associated B cell dysfunction.

Keywords: B cells; HIV; PD1; aging; chronic infections; immunosenescence; influenza vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / immunology
  • Aging / pathology
  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cellular Senescence / immunology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / pathology*
  • Hemagglutination Inhibition Tests
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vaccination
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Influenza Vaccines