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Changes in Circulating B Cell Subsets Associated with Aging and Acute SIV Infection in Rhesus Macaques.

Abstract

Aging and certain viral infections can negatively impact humoral responses in humans. To further develop the nonhuman primate (NHP) model for investigating B cell dynamics in human aging and infectious disease, a flow cytometric panel was developed to characterize circulating rhesus B cell subsets. Significant differences between human and macaque B cells included the proportions of cells within IgD+ and switched memory populations and a prominent CD21-CD27+ unswitched memory population detected only in macaques. We then utilized the expanded panel to analyze B cell alterations associated with aging and acute simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection in the NHP model. In the aging study, distinct patterns of B cell subset frequencies were observed for macaques aged one to five years compared to those between ages 5 and 30 years. In the SIV infection study, B cell frequencies and absolute number were dramatically reduced following acute infection, but recovered within four weeks of infection. Thereafter, the frequencies of activated memory B cells progressively increased; these were significantly correlated with the magnitude of SIV-specific IgG responses, and coincided with impaired maturation of anti-SIV antibody avidity, as previously reported for HIV-1 infection. These observations further validate the NHP model for investigation of mechanisms responsible for B cells alterations associated with immunosenescence and infectious disease.

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