INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to analyse cervix lymphocytic populations in HIV + and HIV- patients and correlate different cervical lesions with HIV viral load and presence of high-risk HPV types.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 132 histological specimens from 40 HIV + and 72 HIV- patients were evaluated for CD4+ and CD8+ T cell distribution, presence of high-risk HPV types, peripheral blood HIV viral load and CD4+/CD8+ ratio.
RESULTS: High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) from HIV + patients had lower CD4+ T cell scores compared with HIV- patients. In all lesion groups, HIV + patients presented higher epithelial and stromal CD8+ T cell scores. HIV viral load was more often detectable in patients with SCC than in those with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) (p = 0.0409). HSIL HIV + patients had lower circulating CD4+ T cell counts (p = 0.0434) and CD4+/CD8+ ratio (p = 0.0378) compared with LSIL HIV + patients. High-risk HPV types other than 16 and 18/45 were more prevalent in the HIV + group.
DISCUSSION: These results support an imbalance between cervical CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes of HIV + patients with SIL and SCC, with increased CD8+ infiltrate density with lesion severity, even in patients with immune system recovery under cART.
- CD4+ T cell
- CD8+ T cell
- Viral load