Persons living with HIV (PLWH) are at increased risk of tuberculosis (TB). HIV-associated TB is often the result of recent infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) followed by rapid progression to disease. Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are the first cells of the innate immune system that engage M. tuberculosis, but how HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART) affect the anti-mycobacterial response of AMs is not known. To investigate the impact of HIV and ART on the transcriptomic and epigenetic response of AMs to M. tuberculosis, we obtained AMs by bronchoalveolar lavage from 20 PLWH receiving ART, 16 control subjects who were HIV-free (HC), and 14 subjects who received ART as preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection. Following in vitro challenge with M. tuberculosis, AMs from each group displayed overlapping but distinct profiles of significantly up- and downregulated genes in response to M. tuberculosis. Comparatively, AMs isolated from both PLWH and PrEP subjects presented a substantially weaker transcriptional response. In addition, AMs from HC subjects challenged with M. tuberculosis responded with pronounced chromatin accessibility changes while AMs obtained from PLWH and PrEP subjects displayed no significant changes in their chromatin state. Collectively, these results revealed a stronger adverse effect of ART than HIV on the epigenetic landscape and transcriptional responsiveness of AMs.


Wilian Correa-Macedo, Vinicius M. Fava, Marianna Orlova, Pauline Cassart, Ron Olivenstein, Joaquín Sanz, Yong Zhong Xu, Anne Dumaine, Renata H.M. Sindeaux, Vania Yotova, Alain Pacis, Josée Girouard, Barbara Kalsdorf, Christoph Lange, Jean-Pierre Routy, Luis B. Barreiro, Erwin Schurr


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