Lymphatic tissue fibrosis is associated with reduced numbers of naïve CD4+ T cells in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection

Timothy W. Schacker, Jason M. Brenchley, Gregory J. Beilman, Cavan Reilly, Stefan E. Pambuccian, Jodie Taylor, David Skarda, Matthew Larson, Daniel C. Douek, Ashley T. Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The organized structure of lymphatic tissues (LTs) constitutes a microenvironment referred to as a niche that plays a critical role in immune system homeostasis by promoting cellular interactions and providing access to cytokines and growth factors on which cells are dependent for survival, proliferation, and differentiation. In chronic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, immune activation and inflammation result in collagen deposition and disruption of this LT niche. We have previously shown that these fibrotic changes correlate with a reduction in the size of the total population of CD4+ T cells. We now show that this reduction is most substantial within the naïve CD4+ T-cell population and is in proportion to the extent of LT collagen deposition in HIV-1 infection. Thus, the previously documented depletion of naïve CD4+ T cells in LTs in HIV-1 infection may be a consequence not only of a decreased supply of thymic emigrants or chronic immune activation but also of the decreased ability of those cells to survive in a scarred LT niche. We speculate that LT collagen deposition might therefore limit repopulation of naïve CD4+ T cells with highly active antiretroviral therapy, and thus, additional treatments directed to limiting or reversing inflammatory damage to the LT niche could potentially improve immune reconstitution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-560
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


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