Autoimmune manifestations are common in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. However, the autoantibody spectrum associated with HIV infection and the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains to be determined. The plasma autoantibody spectrum for HIV patients was characterized by protein microarrays containing 83 autoantigens and confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) were analyzed by flow cytometry and their effects on autoantibodies production were determined by B cell ELISpot. Higher levels of autoantibody and higher prevalence of elevated autoantibodies were observed in ART-naive HIV patients compared to healthy subjects and HIV patients on ART. The highest frequency of CD33+ CD11b+ HLA-DR+ cells was observed in ART-naive HIV patients and was associated with the quantity of elevated autoantibodies. In addition, CD33+ CD11b + HLA-DR+ cells other than Tregs or MDSCs boost the B cell response in a dose-dependent manner by in vitro assay. In summary, HIV infection leads to elevation of autoantibodies while ART suppresses the autoimmune manifestation by decreasing CD33+ CD11b+ HLA-DR+ cells in vivo. The roles of CD33+ CD11b+ HLA-DR+ cells on disease progression in HIV patients needs further assessment.
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