Immunopathological characteristics of in situ T-cell subpopulations in human immunodeficiency virus-associated nephropathy

Luis Rey, Ana Viciana, Phillip Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) is a common form of nephropathy present in HIV-infected individuals that clinically presents with proteinuria that is frequently in the nephrotic range, less often with hematuria, and with a course that may evolve to irreversible azotemia ultimately resulting in renal failure. Pediatric and adult HIV-positive patients both experience HIVAN morphologically after displaying focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, diffuse mesangial hyperplasia, microcystic tubular dilatation, interstitial inflammation, edema, and fibrosis. There is minimal information regarding the interstitial inflammatory cell infiltrate, despite the possibility that these cells may play an important role in the etiology of HIVAN. This study was designed to characterize and compare several morphological and immunopathological features of clearly established HIVAN, particularly the hematopoietic cell markers present on the interstitial inflammatory cells and the state of Tlymphocyte activation (ie, class II expression). Quantitative grading of HIVAN kidneys showed that CD4-positive and CD8-positive T cells comprised the major cell populations in the interstitium, often with CD4-positive T cells exceeding or being equivalent in number to CD8-positive T cells. B cells and macrophages were negligible components of the infiltrate. Human leukocyte antigen-DR class II molecules were found to be increased on the interstitial T cells as well as on all glomerular cells and endothelial cells. There was no significant relationship established between the immunophenotype of the interstitial inflammatory cells and other morphological, ultrastructural, immunofluorescent, or clinical features. These data imply that the inflammatory infiltrate in HIVAN is largely composed of activated T cells. At this point the role of these interstitial T cells in HIVAN is undetermined, although it can be speculated that they may be participating as antiviral or autoreactive immune effector cells imparting renal injury in this entity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • nephropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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