Systemic infection with HIV occurs infrequently through the oral route. The frequency of occurrence may be increased by concomitant bacterial infection of the oral tissues, since co-infection and inflammation of some cell types increases HIV-1 replication. A putative periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis selectively up-regulates expression of the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5 on oral keratinocytes. We, therefore, hypothesized that P. gingivalis modulates the outcome of HIV infection in oral epithelial cells.
Oral and tonsil epithelial cells were pre-incubated with P. gingivalis, and inoculated with either an X4- or R5-type HIV-1. Between 6 and 48 hours post-inoculation, P. gingivalis selectively increased the infectivity of R5-tropic HIV-1 from oral and tonsil keratinocytes; infectivity of X4-tropic HIV-1 remained unchanged. Oral keratinocytes appeared to harbor infectious HIV-1, with no evidence of productive infection. HIV-1 was harbored at highest levels during the first 6 hours after HIV exposure and decreased to barely detectable levels at 48 hours. HIV did not appear to co-localize with P. gingivalis, which increased selective R5-tropic HIV-1 trans infection from keratinocytes to permissive cells. When CCR5 was selectively blocked, HIV-1 trans infection was reduced.
P. gingivalis up-regulation of CCR5 increases trans infection of harbored R5-tropic HIV-1 from oral keratinocytes to permissive cells. Oral infections such as periodontitis may, therefore, increase risk for oral infection and dissemination of R5-tropic HIV-1.
Oral keratinocytes on the mucosal surface are frequently exposed to HIV-1 through contact with infected sexual partners or nursing mothers. To determine the plausibility that oral keratinocytes are primary targets of HIV-1, we tested the hypothesis that HIV-1 infects oral keratinocytes in a restricted manner.
To study the fate of HIV-1, immortalized oral keratinocytes (OKF6/TERT-2; TERT-2 cells) were characterized for the fate of HIV-specific RNA and DNA. At 6 h post inoculation with X4 or R5-tropic HIV-1, HIV-1gag RNA was detected maximally within TERT-2 cells. Reverse transcriptase activity in TERT-2 cells was confirmed by VSV-G-mediated infection with HIV-NL4-3Δenv-EGFP. AZT inhibited EGFP expression in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that viral replication can be supported if receptors are bypassed. Within 3 h post inoculation, integrated HIV-1 DNA was detected in TERT-2 cell nuclei and persisted after subculture. Multiply spliced and unspliced HIV-1 mRNAs were not detectable up to 72 h post inoculation, suggesting that HIV replication may abort and that infection is non-productive. Within 48 h post inoculation, however, virus harbored by CD4 negative TERT-2 cells trans infected co-cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or MOLT4 cells (CD4+ CCR5+) by direct cell-to-cell transfer or by releasing low levels of infectious virions. Primary tonsil epithelial cells also trans infected HIV-1 to permissive cells in a donor-specific manner.
Oral keratinocytes appear, therefore, to support stable non-replicative integration, while harboring and transmitting infectious X4- or R5-tropic HIV-1 to permissive cells for up to 48 h.
Infection of the oral mucosa of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals remains an under-evaluated and somewhat enigmatic process. Nonetheless, it is of profound importance in the ongoing AIDS pandemic, based on its potential as a site of person-to-person transmission of the virus as well as a location of HIV-1 pathogenesis and potential reservoir of disease in the setting of virally suppressive highly active antiretroviral therapy. We utilized molecular and virological techniques to analyze HIV-1 infection of primary human mucosal cells and also evaluated the proapoptotic potential of selected HIV-1 proteins in primary isolated human oral keratinocytes. Primary isolated human oral keratinocytes were plated on 0.4 μM polyethylenetetraphthalate cell culture inserts to form an in vitro oral mucosal layer. The strength of this layer in forming a barrier was determined by measuring trans-epithelial electrical current passage across the monolayer. The oral keratinocyte monolayers had trans-epithelial electrical resistance of approximately 176 to 208 Ω. For viral infectivity assays, the macrophage-tropic (R5) HIV-1 strains, YU-2 and ADA, and T-cell-line-tropic (X4), NL4-3 virions, incubated with or without deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs) and/or the polyamines spermine and spermidine, were used to infect oral keratinocytes. Of importance, polyamines and dNTPs have been shown to enhance natural endogenous reverse transcription (NERT), a step essential for early lentiviral infection, and are abundantly present in human semen. The infectivities of HIV-1 strains YU-2, ADA, and NL4-3 for these primary keratinocytes were dramatically increased by the addition of physiological concentrations of dNTPs, spermine, and spermidine. Binding and viral internalization assay studies showed no differences in these oral mucosal cells, with or without NERT-altering agents. It was also observed that the recombinant, cell-free HIV-1 proteins Nef, Tat, and gp120 (R5) induced apoptosis in primary oral keratinocytes compared with the results seen with nontreated cells or cells treated with glutathione S-transferase protein as a control under similar conditions. Microarray analyses suggested that HIV-1 gp120 and Tat induce apoptosis in primary human oral keratinocytes via the Fas/FasL apoptotic pathway, whereas induction of apoptosis by Nef occurs through both Fas/FasL and mitochondrial apoptotic pathways. Thus, these findings suggest molecular mechanisms by which semen in particular, as well as other bodily fluids such as cervicovaginal secretions, could increase oral transmission of HIV-1 via increasing infectivity in confluent and low-replicating oral keratinocytes. As well, the induction of apoptosis in human oral keratinocytes with relevant HIV-1-specific proteins suggests another potential complementary mechanism by which the oral mucosa barrier may be disrupted during HIV-1 infection in vivo.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission through saliva is extremely low. Several oral components, including secretory immunoglobulin A and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, are known as potential inhibitory agents of HIV oral transmission. Here we examined anti-HIV activity of oral bacterial components. We showed that recombinant protein HGP44 derived from Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the primary infectious agents of periodontitis, was capable of inhibiting HIV type 1 (HIV-1) replication. HGP44 bound specifically to HIV-1 gp120 and blocked HIV-1 envelope-mediated membrane fusion. These findings suggest that HGP44 of P. gingivalis can inhibit HIV-1 infection by blocking HIV-1 entry.
Oral transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in adult populations is rare. However, HIV spread across fetal/neonatal oropharyngeal epithelia could be important in mother-to-child transmission. Analysis of HIV transmission across polarized adult and fetal oral epithelial cells revealed that HIV transmigrates through both adult and fetal cells. However, only virions that passed through the fetal cells – and not those that passed through the adult cells – remained infectious. Analysis of expression of anti-HIV innate proteins beta-defensins 2 and 3, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor in adult, fetal, and infant oral epithelia showed that their expression is predominantly in the adult oral epithelium. Retention of HIV infectivity after transmigration correlated inversely with the expression of these innate proteins. Inactivation of innate proteins in adult oral keratinocytes restored HIV infectivity. These data suggest that high-level innate protein expression may contribute to the resistance of the adult oral epithelium to HIV transmission.
HIV transepithelial migration; oral epithelium; HIV inactivation
Oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiases remain significant causes of morbidity in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, despite the dramatic ability of antiretroviral therapy to reconstitute immunity. Notable advances have been achieved in understanding, at the molecular level, the relationships between the progression of HIV infection, the acquisition, maintenance, and clonality of oral candidal populations, and the emergence of antifungal resistance. However, the critical immunological defects which are responsible for the onset and maintenance of mucosal candidiasis in patients with HIV infection have not been elucidated. The devastating impact of HIV infection on mucosal Langerhans' cell and CD4+ cell populations is most probably central to the pathogenesis of mucosal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients. However, these defects may be partly compensated by preserved host defense mechanisms (calprotectin, keratinocytes, CD8+ T cells, and phagocytes) which, individually or together, may limit Candida albicans proliferation to the superficial mucosa. The availability of CD4C/HIV transgenic mice expressing HIV-1 in immune cells has provided the opportunity to devise a novel model of mucosal candidiasis that closely mimics the clinical and pathological features of candidal infection in human HIV infection. These transgenic mice allow, for the first time, a precise cause-and-effect analysis of the immunopathogenesis of mucosal candidiasis in HIV infection under controlled conditions in a small laboratory animal.
Sexual acquisition of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through mucosal transmission may be prevented by using topically applied agents that block HIV transmission from one individual to another. Therefore, virucidal agents that inactivate HIV virions may be used as a component in topical microbicides.
Here, we have identified 2-methyl-3-phenyl-2H-[1,2,4]thiadiazol-5-ylideneamine (WDO-217) as a low-molecular-weight molecule that inactivates HIV particles. Both HIV-1 and HIV-2 virions pretreated with this compound were unable to infect permissive cells. Moreover, WDO-217 was able to inhibit infections of a wide spectrum of wild-type and drug-resistant HIV-1, including clinical isolates, HIV-2 and SIV strains. Whereas the capture of virus by DC-SIGN was unaffected by the compound, it efficiently prevented the transmission of DC-SIGN-captured virus to CD4+ T-lymphocytes. Interestingly, exposure of virions to WDO-217 reduced the amount of virion-associated genomic RNA as measured by real-time RT-qPCR. Further mechanism-of-action studies demonstrated that WDO-217 efficiently ejects zinc from the zinc fingers of the retroviral nucleocapsid protein NCp7 and inhibits the cTAR destabilization properties of this protein. Importantly, WDO-217 was able to eject zinc from both zinc fingers, even when NCp7 was bound to oligonucleotides, while no covalent interaction between NCp7 and WDO-217 could be observed.
This compound is a new lead structure that can be used for the development of a new series of NCp7 zinc ejectors as candidate topical microbicide agents.
HIV; Nucleocapsid; Virucide; Microbicide
CCL28 (MEC) binds to CCR3 and CCR10 and recruits IgA-secreting plasma cells (IgA-ASC) in the mucosal lamina propria (MLP). Mucosal HIV-specific IgA are detected in HIV-infection and exposure. The CCL28 circuit was analyzed in HIV-infected and-exposed individuals and in HIV-unexposed controls; the effect of CCL28 administration on gastrointestinal MLP IgA-ASC was verified in a mouse model.
CCL28 was augmented in breast milk (BM) plasma and saliva of HIV-infected and –exposed individuals; CCR3+ and CCR10+ B lymphocytes were increased in these same individuals. Additionally: 1) CCL28 concentration in BM was associated with longer survival in HIV vertically-infected children; and 2) gastro-intestinal mucosal IgA-ASC were significantly increased in VSV-immunized mice receiving CCL28.
CCL28 mediates mucosal immunity in HIV exposure and infection. CCL28-including constructs should be considered in mucosal vaccines to prevent HIV infection of the gastro-intestinal MLP via modulation of IgA-ASC.
Recent epidemiologic studies show increasing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission through oral-genital contact. This paper examines the possibility that normal human oral keratinocytes (NHOKs) might be directly infected by HIV or might convey infectious HIV virions to adjacent leukocytes. PCR analysis of proviral DNA constructs showed that NHOKs can be infected by CXCR4-tropic (NL4-3 and ELI) and dualtropic (89.6) strains of HIV-1 to generate a weak but productive infection. CCR5-tropic strain Ba-L sustained minimal viral replication. Antibody inhibition studies showed that infection by CXCR4-tropic viral strains is mediated by the galactosylceramide receptor and the CXCR4 chemokine coreceptor. Coculture studies showed that infectious HIV-1 virions can also be conveyed from NHOKs to activated peripheral blood lymphocytes, suggesting a potential role of oral epithelial cells in the transmission of HIV infection.
Importance of the field
There are currently over thirty million people infected with HIV and there are no vaccines available to prevent HIV infections or disease. The genitourinary, rectal and oral mucosa are the mucosal HIV transmission routes. An effective vaccine that can induce both systemic and local mucosal immunity is generally accepted as a major means of protection against mucosal HIV transmission and AIDS.
What the reader will gain
Structure and cells that comprise the oral, vaginal and rectal mucosa pertaining to HIV transmission and vaccination strategies through each mucosal route to prevent mucosal and systemic infection will be discussed.
Areas covered in this review
Covering publications from 1980’s through 2010, mucosal transmission of HIV and current and previous approaches to vaccinations are discussed.
Take home message
Although oral transmission of HIV is far less common than vaginal and rectal transmissions, infections through this route do occur through oral sex as well as vertically from mother to child. Mucosal vaccination strategies against oral and other mucosal HIV transmissions are under intense research but the lack of consensus on immune correlates of protection and lack of safe and effective mucosal adjuvants and delivery systems hamper progress towards a licensed vaccine.
HIV; mucosa; vagina; rectum; oral; vaccine
Although oral coinfections (e.g., periodontal disease) are highly prevalent in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-positive (HIV-1+) patients and appear to positively correlate with viral load levels, the potential for oral bacteria to induce HIV-1 reactivation in latently infected cells has received little attention. We showed that HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter activation can be induced by periodontopathogens in monocytes/macrophages; nevertheless, the mechanisms involved in this response remain undetermined. Since Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and TLR9 activation have been involved in HIV-1 recrudescence, we sought to determine the role of these TLRs in HIV-1 reactivation induced by the periodontal pathogens Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gingivalis using BF24 monocytes/macrophages stably transfected with the HIV-1 promoter driving chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) expression and THP89GFP cells, a model of HIV-1 latency. We demonstrated that TLR9 activation by F. nucleatum and TLR2 activation by both bacteria appear to be involved in HIV-1 reactivation; however, TLR4 activation had no effect. Moreover, the autocrine activity of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) but not interleukin-1β (IL-1β) produced in response to bacteria could impact viral reactivation. The transcription factors NF-κB and Sp1 appear to be positively regulating HIV-1 reactivation induced by these oral pathogens. These results suggest that oral Gram-negative bacteria (F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis) associated with oral and systemic chronic inflammatory disorders enhance HIV-1 reactivation in monocytes/macrophages through TLR2 and TLR9 activation in a mechanism that appears to be transcriptionally regulated. Increased bacterial growth and emergence of these bacteria or their products accompanying chronic oral inflammatory diseases could be risk modifiers for viral replication, systemic immune activation, and AIDS progression in HIV-1+ patients.
Oral mucositis affects more than three-fourths of patients undergoing chemotherapy and represents a significant burden to patients and caregivers. Lesions develop as a result of chemotherapeutic agents attacking the rapidly dividing cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Severity can range from mild, painless tissue changes to bleeding ulcerations that prevent oral intake and require narcotic pain relievers. Oral mucositis also leads to an increased risk of infection and can often delay further chemotherapy treatment. A number of assessment scales have been developed to better qualify the symptoms associated with this condition. Few pharmacologic agents have been approved to either prevent the development or alleviate the symptoms of oral mucositis. Current options include the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes, amino acid rinses, and topical healing agents. Palifermin, a keratinocyte growth factor, may be a future option after its use in children is explored. With achievements in other areas of supportive care in patients undergoing chemotherapy, oral mucositis should represent the forefront of new research. This review will provide a comprehensive examination of available options for children who have oral mucositis.
cancer; child; mucositis; stomatitis
Adhesive interactions of cells are critical to tissue integrity. We show that infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major pathogen in the periodontal disease periodontitis, interferes with both cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion in the oral keratinocyte cell line HOK-16. Thus, infected cells showed reduced adhesion to extracellular matrix, changes in morphology from spread to rounded, and impaired motility on purified matrices in Transwell migration assays and scratch assays. Western blot analysis of P. gingivalis-challenged HOK-16 cells revealed proteolysis of focal contact components (e.g., focal adhesion kinase), adherens junction proteins (e.g., catenins), and adhesion signaling molecules (e.g., the tyrosine kinase SRC). Proteolysis was selective, since important components of adherens junctions (E-cadherin) or signaling molecules (extracellular signal-regulated kinases ERK1/2) were not degraded. The virulence factors gingipains, cysteine proteinases expressed by P. gingivalis, are likely responsible for this proteolytic attack, since they directly digested specific proteins in pull-down experiments, and their proteolytic activity was blocked by the cysteine proteinase inhibitor N-α-p-tosyl-l-lysine chloromethyl ketone and also by a caspase inhibitor. Proteolysis was strain dependent, such that ATCC 33277 and 381 had high proteolytic potential, whereas W50 showed almost no proteolytic activity. These findings may help explain the formation of gingival pockets between cementum and periodontal epithelium, a hallmark of periodontitis. Furthermore, they illustrate a new pathogenetic paradigm of infection whereby bacteria may disrupt the integrity of epithelia.
Changes in epithelial cell activity and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines were examined utilizing an organotypic culture system as an in vitro model to study the effects of radiation on oral keratinocytes to simulate what is thought to occur in radiation-induced oral mucositis. Monolayer cultures of oral keratinocyte were irradiated by varying the dose. Cell injury was assessed using a colony forming efficiency (CFE) assay. Third passage oral keratinocytes were seeded onto AlloDerm® to form a 3D construct of an ex vivo produced oral mucosa equivalent (EVPOME) which was irradiated with 0, 1, 3 and 8 Gy. Formalin-fixed sections of the EVPOME were used for histology and immunohistochemistry to examine proliferative capacity. Epithelial cell viability of EVPOME was measured by MTT assay. Spent culture medium was used to determine post-radiation pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Basal cells became more swollen and pyknotic as radiation increased, implying loss of cell viability also determined by MTT assay. The number of Ki-67 immunopositive cells and CFE showed negative correlation with radiation, indicating loss of cell proliferative capacity. The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1α and IL-8, tended to increase in a radiation dose dependent manner. The EVPOME lacking submocosal cellular components was a useful model.
radiation-induced oral mucositis; in vitro assay system; organotypic culture; pro-inflammatory cytokine
Viral infections are often associated with salivary gland pathology. Here we review the pathogenesis of HIV-associated salivary gland disease (HIV-SGD), a hallmark of diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome. We investigate the presence and contributions of viral diseases to the pathogenesis of salivary gland diseases, particularly HIV-SGD. We have detected BK viral shedding in the saliva of HIV-SGD patients consistent with viral infection and replication, suggesting a role for oral transmission. For further investigation of BKV pathogenesis in salivary glands, an in vitro model of BKV infection is described. Submandibular (HSG) and parotid (HSY) gland salivary cell lines were capable of permissive BKV infection, as determined by BKV gene expression and replication. Analysis of these data collectively suggests the potential for a BKV oral route of transmission and salivary gland pathogenesis within HIV-SGD.
Virus; salivary gland; HIV; DILS
With increasing frequency during serial passage in culture, primary human keratinocytes express p16INK4A (p16) and undergo senescence arrest. Keratinocytes engineered to express hTERT maintain long telomeres but typically are not immortalized unless, by mutation or other heritable event, they avoid or greatly reduce p16 expression. We have confirmed that keratinocytes undergo p16-related senescence during growth in culture, whether in the fibroblast feeder cell system or in the specialized K-sfm medium formulation, and that this mechanism can act as a barrier to immortalization following hTERT expression. We have characterized the p16-related arrest mechanism more precisely by interfering specifically with several regulators of cell cycle control. Epidermal, oral mucosal, corneal limbal, and conjunctival keratinocytes were transduced to express a p16-insensitive mutant cdk4 (cdk4R24C), to abolish p16 control, and/or a dominant negative mutant p53 (p53DD), to abolish p53 function. Expression of either cdk4R24C or p53DD alone had little effect on life span, but expression of both permitted cells to divide 25 to 43 population doublings (PD) beyond their normal limit. Keratinocytes from a p16+/− individual transduced to express p53DD alone displayed a 31-PD life span extension associated with selective growth of variants that had lost the wild-type p16 allele. Cells in which both p53 and p16 were nonfunctional divided rapidly during their extended life span but experienced telomere erosion and ultimately ceased growth with very short telomeres. Expression of hTERT in these cells immortalized them. Keratinocytes engineered to express cdk4R24C and hTERT but not p53DD did not exhibit an extended life span. Rare immortal variants exhibiting p53 pathway defects arose from them, however, indicating that the p53-dependent component of keratinocyte senescence is telomere independent. Mutational loss of p16 and p53 has been found to be a frequent early event in the development of squamous cell carcinoma. Our results suggest that such mutations endow keratinocytes with extended replicative potential which may serve to increase the probability of neoplastic progression.
In the oral cavity, mucosal keratinocytes resist bacterial infection, in part, by producing broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) including defensin, adrenomedullin and calprotectin. Epidermal keratinocyte expression of many AMPs increases in response to interleukin-1α (IL-1α). IL-1α is produced by epidermal keratinocytes and regulates cell differentiation. To better understand innate immunity in the oral cavity, we sought to determine how IL-1α might regulate expression of AMPs by human gingival keratinocytes (HGKs) using DNA microarray and western blot analyses. HGKs from three subjects expressed eleven AMPs, including S100A7, S100A8, S100A9, S100A12, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, lipocalin 2 (LCN2), cystatin C and β-defensin 2. Of the expressed AMPs, S100A7, S100A12 and LCN2 were up-regulated by IL-1α (inducible AMPs); the other AMPs were considered to be constitutive. Human gingival keratinocytes, therefore, express constitutive and IL-1α-inducible AMPs to provide a rapid and robust innate response to microbial infection.
antimicrobial peptide; gingival keratinocyte; interleukin-1α; microarray analysis; analysis
Mucosal tissues represent major targets for HIV transmission, but differ in susceptibility and reservoir function by unknown mechanisms.
In a cross-sectional study, HIV RNA and infectious virus were compared between oral and genital compartments and blood in HIV-infected women, in association with clinical parameters, co-pathogens and putative innate and adaptive HIV inhibitors.
HIV RNA was detectable in 24.5% of women from all 3 compartments, whereas 45% had RNA in only one or two sites. By comparison, infectious HIV, present in blood of the majority, was rare in mucosal sites. Innate mediators, SLPI and TSP, were highest in mucosae. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was associated with an 80% decreased probability of shedding. Multivariate logistic regression models revealed that mucosal HIV RNA was associated with higher plasma RNA, infectious virus, and total mucosal IgA, but not IgG. There was a 37-fold increased probability of detecting RNA in both genital and oral specimens (P=0.008;P=0.02, respectively) among women in highest vs lowest IgA tertiles.
Mucosal sites exhibit distinct characteristics of infectious HIV, viral shedding and responses to therapy, dependent upon both systemic and local factors. Of the putative innate and adaptive mucosal defense factors examined, only IgA was associated with HIV RNA shedding. However, rather than being protective, there was a striking increase in probability of detectable HIV RNA shedding in women with highest total IgA.
HIV-1; mucosa; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; IgA; SLPI
The innate immune response is a key barrier against pathogenic microorganisms such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Because HIV-1 is rarely transmitted orally, we hypothesized that oral epithelial cells participate in the innate immune defense against this virus. We further hypothesized that secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), a 12-kDa mucosal antiviral protein, is a component of the host immune response to this virus. Here we demonstrated constitutive expression and production of SLPI in immortalized human oral keratinocytes. Brief exposure of cells to HIV-1 BaL and HXB2 significantly increased SLPI mRNA and protein production compared to that in mock-exposed cells (P < 0.01), as evaluated by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. HIV-1-mediated stimulation of SLPI occurred at the transcriptional level, was dose and time dependent, was elicited by heat-inactivated and infectious viruses, and did not depend on cellular infection. Experiments with purified retroviral proteins showed that the stimulatory effect was induced specifically by external envelope glycoproteins from HIV-1 and simian immunodeficiency virus. SLPI responsiveness to HIV-1 was also observed in an unrelated oral epithelial cell line and in normal (nonimmortalized) human oral epithelial cells isolated from healthy uninfected gingival tissues. In this first report of SLPI regulation by HIV-1, we show that the expression and production of the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory protein can be stimulated in oral epithelial cells by the virus through interactions with gp120 in the absence of direct infection. These findings indicate that SLPI is a component of the oral mucosal response to HIV-1.
For prevention of HIV infection many currently licensed anti-HIV drugs and new ones in the pipeline show potential as topically applied microbicides. While macaque models have been the gold standard for in vivo microbicide testing, they are expensive and sufficient numbers are not available. Therefore, a small animal model that facilitates rapid evaluation of potential candidates for their preliminary efficacy is urgently needed in the microbicide field. We previously demonstrated that RAG-hu humanized mouse model permits HIV-1 mucosal transmission via both vaginal and rectal routes and that oral pre-exposure chemo-prophylactic strategies could be tested in this system. Here in these proof-of-concept studies, we extended this system for topical microbicide testing using HIV-1 as the challenge virus. Maraviroc, a clinically approved CCR5 inhibitor drug for HIV treatment, was formulated as a microbicide gel at 5 mM concentration in 2.2% hydroxyl ethyl cellulose. Female RAG-hu mice were challenged vaginally with HIV-1 an hour after intravaginal application of the maraviroc gel. Our results showed that maraviroc gel treated mice were fully protected against vaginal HIV-1 challenge in contrast to placebo gel treated mice which all became infected. These findings highlight the utility of the humanized mouse models for microbicide testing and, together with the recent data from macaque studies, suggest that maraviroc is a promising candidate for future microbicide clinical trials in the field.
The relationship among oral and systemic health and HIV shedding in saliva is not well understood. We hypothesized that oral and systemic health are associated with HIV shedding in saliva of HIV-infected women. Saliva from 127 participants enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) was collected at repeated visits over a 5-1/2 year study period (October 1998 through March 2004) and was evaluated for HIV-1 RNA. Demographic, lifestyle, systemic and oral health characteristics were evaluated as possible correlates of salivary HIV-1 shedding. Multivariate models showed significantly increased risk of HIV-1 shedding in saliva as blood levels of CD4 cell counts decreased (p<0.0001) and HIV RNA increased (p<0.0001). Diabetes (p=0.002) and high proportion of gingival bleeding sites (p=0.01) were associated with increased likelihood, while antiretroviral therapy (p=0.0003) and higher levels of stimulated saliva flow rates (p=0.02) were associated with a lower likelihood of HIV-1 RNA shedding in saliva.
HIV-1 Shedding; Saliva; Oral Health
The relationship among oral and systemic health and HIV shedding in saliva is not well-understood. We hypothesized that oral and systemic health are associated with HIV shedding in saliva of HIV-infected women. Saliva from 127 participants enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) was collected at repeated visits over a 5½-year study period (October 1998 through March 2004) and was evaluated for HIV-1 RNA. Demographic, lifestyle, and systemic and oral health characteristics were evaluated as possible correlates of salivary HIV-1 shedding. Multivariate models showed significantly increased risk of HIV-1 shedding in saliva as blood levels of CD4 cell counts decreased (p < 0.0001) and HIV RNA increased (p < 0.0001). Diabetes (p = 0.002) and a high proportion of gingival bleeding sites (p = 0.01) were associated with increased likelihood, while anti-retroviral therapy (p = 0.0003) and higher levels of stimulated saliva flow rates (p = 0.02) were associated with a lower likelihood of HIV-1 RNA shedding in saliva.
HIV-1 shedding; saliva; oral health
Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for the early events of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Model systems of HIV sexual transmission have shown that DCs expressing the DC-specific C-type lectin DC-SIGN capture and internalize HIV at mucosal surfaces and efficiently transfer HIV to CD4+ T cells in lymph nodes, where viral replication occurs. Upon DC–T cell clustering, internalized HIV accumulates on the DC side at the contact zone (infectious synapse), between DCs and T cells, whereas HIV receptors and coreceptors are enriched on the T cell side. Viral concentration at the infectious synapse may explain, at least in part, why DC transmission of HIV to T cells is so efficient.
Here, we have investigated the role of DC-SIGN on primary DCs in X4 HIV-1 capture and transmission using small interfering RNA–expressing lentiviral vectors to specifically knockdown DC-SIGN. We demonstrate that DC-SIGN− DCs internalize X4 HIV-1 as well as DC-SIGN+ DCs, although binding of virions is reduced. Strikingly, DC-SIGN knockdown in DCs selectively impairs infectious synapse formation between DCs and resting CD4+ T cells, but does not prevent the formation of DC–T cells conjugates.
Our results demonstrate that DC-SIGN is required downstream from viral capture for the formation of the infectious synapse between DCs and T cells. These findings provide a novel explanation for the role of DC-SIGN in the transfer and enhancement of HIV infection from DCs to T cells, a crucial step for HIV transmission and pathogenesis.
HIV/SIV; virological synapse; RNA interference; lentiviral vectors; trans infection
We report that K5.Smad7 mice, which express Smad7 transgene by a keratin-5 promoter, were resistant to radiation-induced oral mucositis, a painful oral ulceration. In addition to NF-κB activation known to contribute to oral mucositis, we found activated TGF-β signaling in oral mucositis. Smad7 dampened both pathways to attenuate inflammation, growth inhibition and apoptosis. Additionally, Smad7 promoted oral epithelial migration to close the wound. Further analyses revealed that TGF-β signaling Smads and their co-repressor CtBP1 transcriptionally repressed Rac1, and Smad7 abrogated this repression. Knocking down Rac1 in mouse keratinocytes abrogated Smad7-induced migration. Topically applying Smad7 protein with a cell permeable Tat-tag (Tat-Smad7) to oral mucosa showed preventive and therapeutic effects on radiation-induced oral mucositis in mice. Thus, we have identified novel molecular mechanisms involved in oral mucositis pathogenesis and our data suggest an alternative therapeutic strategy to block multiple pathological processes of oral mucositis.
Mucosal surfaces play a major role in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission and pathogenesis, and yet the role of lamina propria macrophages in mucosal HIV-1 infection has received little investigative attention. We report here that vaginal and intestinal macrophages display distinct phenotype and HIV-1 permissiveness profiles. Vaginal macrophages expressed the innate response receptors CD14, CD89, CD16, CD32, and CD64 and the HIV-1 receptor/coreceptors CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4, similar to monocytes. Consistent with this phenotype, green fluorescent protein-tagged R5 HIV-1 entered macrophages in explanted vaginal mucosa as early as 30 min after inoculation of virus onto the epithelium, and purified vaginal macrophages supported substantial levels of HIV-1 replication by a panel of highly macrophage-tropic R5 viruses. In sharp contrast, intestinal macrophages expressed no detectable, or very low levels of, innate response receptors and HIV-1 receptor/coreceptors and did not support HIV-1 replication, although virus occasionally entered macrophages in intestinal tissue explants. Thus, vaginal, but not intestinal, macrophages are monocyte-like and permissive to R5 HIV-1 after the virus has translocated across the epithelium. These findings suggest that genital and gut macrophages have different roles in mucosal HIV-1 pathogenesis and that vaginal macrophages play a previously underappreciated but potentially important role in mucosal HIV-1 infection in the female genital tract.