Human immunodeficiency virus and the gastrointestinal immune system: does highly active antiretroviral therapy restore gut immunity?

Costiniuk, C T; Angel, J B
November 2012
Mucosal Immunology (1933-0219);Nov2012, Vol. 5 Issue 6, p596
Academic Journal
While only partial immune reconstitution in gut-associated lymphoid tissue typically occurs following initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, near-complete immune reconstitution has occasionally been described. This review highlights findings from studies examining the effects of HAART and the timing of its initiation on gastrointestinal (GI) CD4+ T-cell recovery. Its effects on specific CD4+ T-cell subtypes, CD8+ T cells, natural killer cells, and immunoglobulins are also described. Finally, the ability of HAART to restore the intestinal epithelial barrier and lymphatic tissue architecture and reduce microbial translocation is addressed. Determining whether HAART has the ability to prevent permanent GI immune damage when commenced in acute HIV infection has implications for the optimal timing of HAART initiation.


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