The persistence of a leaky gut in HIV-treated patients leads to chronic inflammation with increased rates of cardiovascular, liver, kidney, and neurological diseases. Tissue regulatory T (tTreg) cells are involved in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis and wound repair through the IL-33 pathway. In this study, we investigated whether the persistence of gut mucosal injury during HIV infection might be explained in part by a flaw in the mechanisms involved in tissue repair. We observed an increased level of IL-33 in the gut of HIV-infected patients, which is associated with an increased level of fibrosis and a low peripheral reconstitution of CD4+ T cells. Our results showed that intestinal Treg cells from HIV-infected patients were enriched in tTreg cells prone to support tissue repair. However, we observed a functional defect in tTreg cells caused by the lack of amphiregulin secretion, which could contribute to the maintenance of intestinal damage. Our data suggest a mechanism by which the lack of amphiregulin secretion by tTreg may contribute to the lack of repair of the epithelial barrier.

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