Even with prolonged antiretroviral therapy (ART), many human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals have <500 CD4+ T cells/μL, and CD4+ T cells in lymphoid tissues remain severely depleted, due in part to fibrosis of the paracortical T-cell zone (TZ) that impairs homeostatic mechanisms required for T-cell survival. We therefore used antifibrotic therapy in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaques to determine whether decreased TZ fibrosis would improve reconstitution of peripheral and lymphoid CD4+ T cells. Treatment with the antifibrotic drug pirfenidone preserved TZ architecture and was associated with significantly larger populations of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. Combining pirfenidone with an ART regimen was associated with greater preservation of CD4+ T cells than ART alone and was also associated with higher pirfenidone concentrations. These data support a potential role for antifibrotic drug treatment as adjunctive therapy with ART to improve immune reconstitution.
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© The Author 2014.
- Fibroblastic reticular cell network
- Immune reconstitution
- T-cell depletion