Plasmacytoid dendritic cells mediate synergistic effects of HIV and lipopolysaccharide on CD27+ IgD- memory B cell apoptosis

Lumin Zhang, Zhenwu Luo, Scott F. Sieg, Nicholas T. Funderburg, Xiaocong Yu, Pingfu Fu, Hao Wu, Yanmei Jiao, Yong Gao, Neil S. Greenspan, Clifford V. Harding, J. Michael Kilby, Zihai Li, Michael M. Lederman, Wei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The effects of heightened microbial translocation on B cells during HIV infection are unknown. We examined the in vitro effects of HIV and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on apoptosis of CD27+ IgD- memory B (mB) cells from healthy controls. In vivo analysis was conducted on a cohort of 82 HIV+ donors and 60 healthy controls. In vitro exposure of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to LPS and HIV led to mB cell death via the Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) pathway. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) produced FasL in response to HIV via binding to CD4 and chemokine coreceptors. HIV and LPS increased Fas expression on mB cells in PBMCs, which was dependent on the presence of pDCs and monocytes. Furthermore, mB cells purified from PBMCs and pretreated with both HIV and LPS were more sensitive to apoptosis when cocultured with HIV-treated pDCs. Blocking the interferon receptor (IFNR) prevented HIV-stimulated FasL production in pDCs, HIV-plus-LPS-induced Fas expression, and apoptosis of mB cells. In vivo or ex vivo, HIV+ donors have higher levels of plasma LPS, Fas expression on mB cells, and mB cell apoptosis than controls. Correspondingly, in HIV+ donors, but not in controls, a positive correlation was found between plasma FasL and HIV RNA levels and between Fas expression on mB cells and plasma LPS levels. This work reveals a novel mechanism of mB cell apoptosis mediated by LPS and HIV through the Fas/FasL pathway, with key involvement of pDCs and type I IFN, suggesting a role for microbial translocation in HIV pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11430-11441
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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