<div><h3>Background</h3><p>Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) induces a general dysregulation of immune system. Dysregulation of B cell compartment is generally thought to be induced by HIV-related immune activation and lymphopenia. However, a direct influence of HIV-1 particles on B cells was recently proposed as the third pathway of B cells dysregulation.</p> <h3>Methods/Principal Findings</h3><p>We evaluated the direct and specific consequences of HIV-1 contact on activation, survival, proliferation and phenotype of primary B cells <em>in vitro</em>. Moreover, we examined expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) mRNA that is responsible for class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM). Here, we report that changes observed in cellular proliferation, phenotypes and activation of B cells could be caused by direct contact between HIV-1 particles and primary B cells <em>in vitro</em>. Finally, direct HIV-1-derived B cells activation led to the increase of AID mRNA expression and its subsequent CSR function was detected <em>in vitro</em>.</p> <h3>Conclusion/Significance</h3><p>We showed that HIV-1 could directly induce primary B cells dysregulation triggering phenotypical and functional abilities of B cells <em>in vitro</em> that could explain in some extent early B-cell abnormalities in HIV disease.</p> </div
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