Characterization of HIV-induced remodeling reveals differences in infection susceptibility of memory CD4+ T cell subsets in vivo

Cell Rep. 2021 Apr 27;35(4):109038. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109038.


Relatively little is known about features of T cells targeted by HIV in vivo. By applying bioinformatics analysis to mass cytometry (CyTOF)-phenotyped specimens from individuals with viremia and in-vitro-infected cells from uninfected donors, we provide an atlas of the phenotypes of in vivo and in vitro HIV-susceptible cells. T helper 17 (Th17) and α4β1+ cells are preferentially targeted in vivo, whereas T effector memory (Tem), T transitional memory (Ttm), Th1, and Th1/Th17 subsets are targeted in vitro. Multiple proteins-including chemokine and cytokine receptors-are remodeled by HIV in vivo, and these changes are mostly recapitulated in vitro. HIV remodels cells to a T follicular helper (Tfh) phenotype. Using clustering, we uncover a subset of CD29-expressing, Tem-like cells that are highly susceptible to infection in vivo and in vitro and experimentally confirm that susceptibility. These studies provide an in-depth look at features of HIV-susceptible cells in individuals with viremia and demonstrate that some-but not all-HIV-susceptible cells identified in vitro effectively model in vivo susceptibility.

Keywords: CD4 T cell; CyTOF; HIV; T effector memory; T follicular helper; in vivo; viral-induced remodeling; viremic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / genetics*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*