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Affinity maturation defects in memory B cells of HIV-infected individuals

JCI Journals

HIV infection results in a variety of immune abnormalities, which are especially pronounced in individuals with high viral titers. B cells are the antibody producing cells of the immune system and are not directly infected by HIV. However, HIV-infected individuals exhibit abnormalities in memory B cell populations and only rarely generate antibodies that effectively target the virus. A new study in JCI Insight identifies deficiencies in the affinity maturation process of memory B cells in HIV-infected individuals that result in an inadequate antibody response. Eric Meffre, Susan Moire, and colleagues at Yale University and the National Institutes of Health evaluated HIV-specific memory B cell populations and the HIV-targeting antibodies produced by these cells from chronically HIV-infected patients. A population of memory B cells, known as tissue-like memory cells, was more abundant than conventional memory B cells in the blood of HIV-infected individuals. The tissue-like memory B cells had a low frequency of somatic hypermutation, and the HIV-neutralizing capacity of monoclonal antibodies from these B cells was low. Together, the results of this study provide important insight into HIV-dependent immune dysfunction.



Maturational characteristics of HIV-specific antibodies in viremic individuals


Eric Meffre
Yale University School of Medicine

Susan Moir
National Institutes of Health

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JCI Insight is the newest publication from the American Society of Clinical Investigation, a nonprofit honor organization of physician-scientists. JCI Insight is dedicated to publishing a range of translational biomedical research with an emphasis on rigorous experimental methods and data reporting. All articles published in JCI Insight are freely available at the time of publication. For more information about JCI Insight and all of the latest articles go to

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