Monocyte and T Cell Immune Phenotypic Profiles Associated With Age Advancement Differ Between People With HIV, Lifestyle-Comparable Controls and Blood Donors

Front Immunol. 2020 Oct 6:11:581616. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.581616. eCollection 2020.


Motivation: People with HIV on successful antiretroviral therapy show signs of premature aging and are reported to have higher rates of age-associated comorbidities. HIV-associated immune dysfunction and inflammation have been suggested to contribute to this age advancement and increased risk of comorbidities.

Method: Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was used to explore associations between biological age advancement and immunological changes in the T cell and monocyte compartment in people with HIV (n=40), comparable HIV-negative individuals (n=40) participating in the Comorbidity in Relation to AIDS (COBRA) cohort, and blood donors (n=35).

Results: We observed that age advancement in all three groups combined was associated with a monocyte immune phenotypic profile related to inflammation and a T cell immune phenotypic associated with immune senescence and chronic antigen exposure. Interestingly, a unique monocyte and T cell immune phenotypic profile predictive for age advancement was found within each group. An inflammatory monocyte immune phenotypic profile associated with age advancement in HIV-negative individuals, while the monocyte profile in blood donors and people with HIV was more reflective of loss of function. The T cell immune phenotypic profile in blood donors was related to loss of T cell function, whereas the same set of markers were related to chronic antigen stimulation and immune senescence in HIV-negative individuals. In people with HIV, age advancement was related to changes in the CD4+ T cell compartment and more reflective of immune recovery after cART treatment.

Impact: The identified monocyte and T cell immune phenotypic profiles that were associated with age advancement, were strongly related to inflammation, chronic antigen exposure and immune senescence. While the monocyte and T cell immune phenotypic profile within the HIV-negative individuals reflected those observed in the combined three groups, a distinct profile related to immune dysfunction, was observed within blood donors and people with HIV. These data suggest that varying exposures to lifestyle and infection-related factors may be associated with specific changes in the innate and adaptive immune system, that all contribute to age advancement.

Keywords: HIV; T cell; aging; immune activation; immune dysfunction; inflammation; monocyte.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / methods
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Donors
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology*


  • Biomarkers