Lymph nodes (LN) and their resident T follicular helper CD4+ T cells (Tfh) are a critical site for HIV replication and persistence. Therefore, optimizing antiviral activity in lymphoid tissues will be needed to reduce or eliminate the HIV reservoir. In this study, we retained effector immune cells in LN of cART-suppressed, SIV-infected rhesus macaques by treatment with the lysophospholipid sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulator FTY720 (fingolimod). FTY720 was remarkably effective in reducing circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, including those with cytolytic potential, and in increasing the number of these T cells retained in LN, as determined directly in situ by histocytometry and immunohistochemistry. The FTY720-induced inhibition of T cell egress from LN resulted in a measurable decrease of SIV-DNA content in blood as well as in LN Tfh cells in most treated animals. In conclusion, FTY720 administration has the potential to limit viral persistence, including in the critical Tfh cellular reservoir. These findings provide rationale for strategies designed to retain antiviral T cells in lymphoid tissues to target HIV remission.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology