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1.  Enhanced Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Patients 
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) has been found to possess activity against the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in vitro at physiological concentrations. A study was undertaken to evaluate SLPI levels in human saliva and plasma among HIV-positive (HIV+) patients with various HIV-1 viral loads in comparison to uninfected controls. Whole blood in EDTA and unstimulated saliva samples were collected from 37 HIV+ patients, of whom 20 had a history of intravenous drug abuse (IVDA). Control samples were collected from 20 appropriate age- and sex-matched HIV-1-negative individuals. SLPI was estimated from both saliva and serum samples by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. HIV viral load was determined using a quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. SLPI levels were increased 16.7% in plasma and 10.3% in saliva among HIV+ patients in comparison to uninfected controls. SLPI levels were increased 5.9% in saliva and 3.9% in plasma among HIV+ patients with a high viral load (>10,000 copies/ml) as compared to patients with a low viral load (<400 copies/ml). Only 23% of patients with a high viral load used combination therapy with protease inhibitor drugs, whereas 92.9% of HIV+ patients with a low viral load used protease inhibitors. SLPI levels did not differ significantly among the IVDA patients, patients with different viral loads, or patients using protease inhibitor drugs. There was a statistically significant increase in SLPI levels in saliva among HIV patients in comparison to non-HIV-infected controls. An increase in SLPI levels among HIV+ patients may be a natural consequence of HIV pathogenesis and an important factor in preventing oral transmission of HIV, but this increase may not be evident during plasma viremia in patients with a high viral load.
PMCID: PMC95780  PMID: 10548568
2.  Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor: a human saliva protein exhibiting anti-human immunodeficiency virus 1 activity in vitro. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;96(1):456-464.
Infection of adherent primary monocytes with HIV-1Ba-L is significantly suppressed in the presence of human saliva. By reverse transcriptase (RT) levels, saliva, although present for only 1 h during monocyte viral exposure, inhibited HIV-1 infectivity for 3 wk after infection, whereas human plasma and synovial fluid failed to inhibit HIV-1 infectivity. Antiviral activity was identified in the saliva soluble fraction, and to determine the factor(s) responsible, individual saliva proteins were examined. Of those proteins examined, only secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) was found to possess anti-HIV-1 activity at physiological concentrations. SLPI anti-HIV-1 activity was dose dependent, with maximal inhibition at 1-10 micrograms/ml (> 90% inhibition of RT activity). SLPI also partially inhibited HIV-1IIIB infection in proliferating human T cells. SLPI appears to target a host cell-associated molecule, since no interaction with viral proteins could be demonstrated. However, SLPI anti-HIV-1 activity was not due to direct interaction with or downregulation of the CD4 antigen. Partial depletion of SLPI in whole saliva resulted in decreased anti-HIV-1 activity of saliva. These data indicate that SLPI has antiretroviral activity and may contribute to the important antiviral activity of saliva associated with the infrequent oral transmission of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC185219  PMID: 7615818
3.  Estimation and Comparison of Salivary Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Patients and Healthy Individuals 
Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the oral cavity is a rare event, despite detectable virus in saliva and oropharyngeal tissues of infected persons, unlike other mucosal sites. Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) has been suggested as the main soluble factor responsible for the HIV inhibitory effect of saliva. The study was designed to estimate and compare the salivary SLPI levels in HIV patients and healthy controls. Furthermore, the relationship between salivary SLPI levels and disease severity was also investigated.
Materials and Methods:
Unstimulated whole saliva specimens were collected from 60 HIV-infected and 20 healthy subjects. Disease severity was determined by CD4 count in HIV subjects, who were divided into two groups: ≥200 cells/μL (n = 30) and < 200 cells/μL n = 30. Salivary SLPI levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Numerically higher SLPI levels were observed in HIV subjects 193.342 ng/mL vs. 190.587 ng/mL; P = 0.517. A nonsignificant negative correlation was noted between CD4 counts and SLPI levels r = −0.037, P = 0.781.
The salivary anti-HIV factor, SLPI, is not only preserved in HIV infection but its concentration may even get enhanced in the infection. However, the clinical significance of SLPI levels and disease severity should be investigated further with a larger sample of patients.
PMCID: PMC3931238  PMID: 24600179
CD4 count; Human immunodeficiency virus; Saliva; Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor
4.  Immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgA1, and IgA2 antibodies to Candida albicans in whole and parotid saliva in human immunodeficiency virus infection and AIDS. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(3):892-896.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals are predisposed to recurrent oral candidiasis, and, although it has been assumed that this is because of deficient mucosal immune responses, this has not been properly established. The present study aimed to compare the concentrations and secretion rates of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgA subclass antibodies to Candida albicans in whole and parotid saliva samples from HIV-infected patients, AIDS patients, and control subjects. Levels of IgA antibody to Candida species in whole saliva were higher in the HIV group than in the controls and were highest in the AIDS group (P < 0.05). In parotid saliva, the mean antibody levels were significantly greater in HIV-positive patients than in controls (P < 0.05) but fell to lower levels in the AIDS group. The secretion rates of Candida antibodies in parotid saliva were reduced in AIDS patients compared with HIV patients. The specific activities of the IgA antibodies and both subclasses were significantly higher in the HIV and AIDS patients than in the controls in both whole and parotid saliva (P < 0.05). Antibody levels were significantly correlated with the numbers of Candida organisms isolated from saliva (P < 0.05). These results suggest clear differences in salivary antibody profiles among HIV-infected. AIDS, and control subjects and are indicative of a response to antigenic challenge by infecting Candida species. No obvious defect in the mucosal immune response in the HIV or AIDS groups that might account for the increased prevalence of candidiasis was apparent.
PMCID: PMC186199  PMID: 8112860
5.  Antibody to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp160 in mucosal specimens of asymptomatic HIV-1-infected volunteers parenterally immunized with an experimental recombinant HIV-1 IIIB gp160 vaccine. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group. 
Twenty-two human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected, asymptomatic volunteers with CD4 cell counts of >600 cells/mm3 who were enrolled in a phase I immunotherapy trial comparing two schedules of immunization of an HIV-1 IIIB-based recombinant gp160 (rgp160) experimental vaccine were evaluated for rgp160-specific antibodies in parotid saliva, genital secretions, and serum. When the study was unblinded, it was determined that five volunteers had received rgp160 on a month 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 immunization schedule, seven volunteers had received rgp160 on a month 0, 1, 2, and 5 schedule, five had received alum/deoxycholate placebo, and seven had received a licensed hepatitis B virus vaccine. Five volunteers consented to the donation of parotid saliva but not genital secretions. Prior to immunization, parotid saliva specimens were available for 11 of 22 volunteers, seminal plasma (SP) specimens were available for 7 of 22 volunteers, cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) specimens were available for 5 of 22 volunteers, and serum was available for 22 of 22 volunteers. These baseline specimens and specimens collected at 1 and 7 months after the final immunizations were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgA antibodies specific for HIV-1 LAI rgp160 or HIV-1 MN rgp160. No augmentation in HIV rgp160-specific IgG or IgA antibody production in either parotid saliva or serum specimens of vaccinees compared to that in controls was observed after immunization. There were insufficient numbers of SP or CVL specimens available for statistical comparisons between vaccinees and controls. Overall, anti-LAI rgp160 IgG antibodies were detected in the parotid saliva specimens of 20 of 22 volunteers, the seminal plasma specimens of 11 of 11 volunteers, and the CVL specimens of 6 of 6 volunteers and in 21 of 22 serum specimens. Fewer volunteers expressed anti-LAI rgp160 IgA antibodies in mucosal or serum specimens: 11 of 22 parotid saliva specimens, 3 of 11 SP specimens, 3 of 5 CVL samples, and 12 of 22 sera.
PMCID: PMC170523  PMID: 9144368
6.  The Phospholipid Scramblases 1 and 4 Are Cellular Receptors for the Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor and Interact with CD4 at the Plasma Membrane 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(3):e5006.
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) is secreted by epithelial cells in all the mucosal fluids such as saliva, cervical mucus, as well in the seminal liquid. At the physiological concentrations found in saliva, SLPI has a specific antiviral activity against HIV-1 that is related to the perturbation of the virus entry process at a stage posterior to the interaction of the viral surface glycoprotein with the CD4 receptor. Here, we confirm that recombinant SLPI is able to inhibit HIV-1 infection of primary T lymphocytes, and show that SLPI can also inhibit the transfer of HIV-1 virions from primary monocyte-derived dendritic cells to autologous T lymphocytes. At the molecular level, we show that SLPI is a ligand for the phospholipid scramblase 1 (PLSCR1) and PLSCR4, membrane proteins that are involved in the regulation of the movements of phospholipids between the inner and outer leaflets of the plasma membrane. Interestingly, we reveal that PLSCR1 and PLSCR4 also interact directly with the CD4 receptor at the cell surface of T lymphocytes. We find that the same region of the cytoplasmic domain of PLSCR1 is involved in the binding to CD4 and SLPI. Since SLPI was able to disrupt the association between PLSCR1 and CD4, our data suggest that SLPI inhibits HIV-1 infection by modulating the interaction of the CD4 receptor with PLSCRs. These interactions may constitute new targets for antiviral intervention.
PMCID: PMC2659420  PMID: 19333378
7.  Cervicovaginal Levels of Lactoferrin, Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor, and RANTES and the Effects of Coexisting Vaginoses in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Seronegative Women with a High Risk of Heterosexual Acquisition of HIV Infection▿  
Innate immune factors in mucosal secretions may influence human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission. This study examined the levels of three such factors, genital tract lactoferrin [Lf], secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor [SLPI], and RANTES, in women at risk for acquiring HIV infection, as well as cofactors that may be associated with their presence. Women at high risk for HIV infection meeting established criteria (n = 62) and low-risk controls (n = 33) underwent cervicovaginal lavage (CVL), and the CVL fluid samples were assayed for Lf and SLPI. Subsets of 26 and 10 samples, respectively, were assayed for RANTES. Coexisting sexually transmitted infections and vaginoses were also assessed, and detailed behavioral information was collected. Lf levels were higher in high-risk (mean, 204 ng/ml) versus low-risk (mean, 160 ng/ml, P = 0.007) women, but SLPI levels did not differ, and RANTES levels were higher in only the highest-risk subset. Lf was positively associated only with the presence of leukocytes in the CVL fluid (P < 0.0001). SLPI levels were lower in women with bacterial vaginosis [BV] than in those without BV (P = 0.04). Treatment of BV reduced RANTES levels (P = 0.05). The influence, if any, of these three cofactors on HIV transmission in women cannot be determined from this study. The higher Lf concentrations observed in high-risk women were strongly associated with the presence of leukocytes, suggesting a leukocyte source and consistent with greater genital tract inflammation in the high-risk group. Reduced SLPI levels during BV infection are consistent with an increased risk of HIV infection, which has been associated with BV. However, the increased RANTES levels in a higher-risk subset of high-risk women were reduced after BV treatment.
PMCID: PMC2043309  PMID: 17671228
8.  Multiple components contribute to ability of saliva to inhibit influenza viruses 
Saliva is a potentially important barrier against respiratory viral infection but its mechanism of action is not well studied.
We tested the antiviral activities of whole saliva, specific salivary gland secretions, and purified salivary proteins against strains of influenza A virus (IAV) in vitro.
Whole saliva or parotid or submandibular/sublingual secretions from healthy donors inhibited IAV based on hemagglutination inhibition and neutralization assays. This differs from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), for which only submandibular/sublingual secretions are reported to be inhibitory. Among purified salivary proteins, MUC5B, scavenger receptor cysteine-rich glycoprotein 340 (salivary gp-340), histatins, and human neutrophil defensins (HNPs) inhibited IAV at the concentrations present in whole saliva. In contrast, some abundant salivary proteins (acidic proline-rich proteins and amylase) had no activity, nor did several other less abundant salivary proteins with known activity against HIV (e.g. thrombospondin or serum leukocyte protease inhibitor). Whole saliva and MUC5B did not inhibit neuraminidase activity of IAV and viral neutralizing and aggregating activity of MUC5B was potentiated by the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir. Hence, MUC5B inhibits IAV by presenting a sialic acid ligand for the viral hemagglutinin. The mechanism of action of histatins requires further study.
These findings indicate that saliva represents an important initial barrier to IAV infection and underline the complexity of host defense activity of oral secretions. Of interest, antiviral activity of saliva against IAV and HIV differs in terms of specific glandular secretions and proteins that are inhibitory.
PMCID: PMC2848456  PMID: 19121065
histatins; innate immunity; MUC5B
9.  Protective secretory immunoglobulin A antibodies in humans following oral immunization with Streptococcus mutans. 
Infection and Immunity  1987;55(10):2409-2415.
Ingestion of a vaccine containing killed Streptococcus mutans, originally isolated from each volunteer, daily for 10 consecutive days induced increased levels of specific secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) antibodies to S. mutans cells and two cell surface proteins, glucosyltransferase and surface antigen I/II, in parotid saliva and tears of four healthy males and in parotid saliva, tears, colostrum, and milk of a pregnant woman. In addition, these antibodies inhibited glucosyltransferase activity. Both IgA1 and IgA2 antibodies were induced. The levels of IgA antibodies in all secretions remained significantly above preimmunization levels for more than 50 days after oral administration of antigen. A second series of immunizations for 7 consecutive days resulted in even higher levels of sIgA antibodies, which peaked earlier and persisted longer than those observed after the primary immunizations. No increase in levels of antibodies in serum were detected in any subject. Antibodies reactive with human heart and kidney antigens could not be detected in saliva, tears, colostrum, milk, or serum samples collected at any time during the immunization regimen. The numbers of viable S. mutans organisms in dental plaque and whole saliva decreased after each series of immunizations, which correlated with increased levels of IgA antibodies in saliva, suggesting that IgA antibodies in saliva were responsible for the reduced adherence of this bacterium. These results indicate that ingested S. mutans antigen induces secretion of specific IgA1 and IgA2 antibodies in saliva, tears, colostrum, and milk, providing further evidence for the existence of a common mucosal immune system.
PMCID: PMC260722  PMID: 3653984
10.  Human Breast Milk and Antiretrovirals Dramatically Reduce Oral HIV-1 Transmission in BLT Humanized Mice 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(6):e1002732.
Currently, over 15% of new HIV infections occur in children. Breastfeeding is a major contributor to HIV infections in infants. This represents a major paradox in the field because in vitro, breast milk has been shown to have a strong inhibitory effect on HIV infectivity. However, this inhibitory effect has never been demonstrated in vivo. Here, we address this important paradox using the first humanized mouse model of oral HIV transmission. We established that reconstitution of the oral cavity and upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract of humanized bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) mice with human leukocytes, including the human cell types important for mucosal HIV transmission (i.e. dendritic cells, macrophages and CD4+ T cells), renders them susceptible to oral transmission of cell-free and cell-associated HIV. Oral transmission of HIV resulted in systemic infection of lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues that is characterized by the presence of HIV RNA in plasma and a gradual decline of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood. Consistent with infection of the oral cavity, we observed virus shedding into saliva. We then evaluated the role of human breast milk on oral HIV transmission. Our in vivo results demonstrate that breast milk has a strong inhibitory effect on oral transmission of both cell-free and cell-associated HIV. Finally, we evaluated the effect of antiretrovirals on oral transmission of HIV. Our results show that systemic antiretrovirals administered prior to exposure can efficiently prevent oral HIV transmission in BLT mice.
Author Summary
Infected children acquire HIV from their mother in utero, intrapartum or by ingesting their mother's breast milk which can contain both HIV particles (cell-free) and HIV-infected cells (cell-associated). Although breastfeeding is attributed to a significant number of HIV infections in children, most breastfed infants remain uninfected despite prolonged and repeated exposure to HIV. This limited transmission has led to two apparently contradictory roles for milk in HIV infection: vector of transmission or vehicle of protection? Milk has a strong inhibitory effect on HIV infection in vitro. However, this has never been demonstrated in an in vivo system. In the present study, we address this paradox in a bone marrow/liver/thymus (or BLT) humanized mouse model of oral transmission of cell-free and cell-associated HIV. We demonstrate that human breast milk has potent HIV inhibitory activity that can prevent oral transmission of cell-free and cell-associated HIV in vivo. Our results provide key insight into oral HIV transmission and the protective role of milk. However, since transmission can and does occur in some instances after continued exposure to HIV in milk, we demonstrate that oral HIV transmission can be efficiently prevented in BLT humanized mice by the systemic administration of antiretrovirals.
PMCID: PMC3380612  PMID: 22737068
11.  Salivary Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor Is Associated with Reduced Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 through Breast Milk 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2002;186(8):1173-1176.
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), a protein found in saliva, breast milk, and genital secretions, is capable of inhibiting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 in vitro. The aim of this study was to determine whether SLPI in infant saliva provides protection against mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission. In total, 602 saliva specimens were collected from 188 infants at birth and at ages 1, 3, and 6 months. Infants’ median salivary SLPI concentrations were higher at birth than at 6 months (341 vs. 219 ng/mL; P = .001). There was no association between SLPI concentration and HIV-1 transmission overall. However, among 122 breast-fed infants who were HIV-1 uninfected at 1 month, higher salivary SLPI levels were associated with a decreased risk of HIV-1 transmission through breast milk (hazard ratio, 0.5; 95% confidence interval, 0.3–0.9; P = .03). These results suggest that SLPI plays an important role in reducing HIV-1 transmission through breast milk.
PMCID: PMC3382060  PMID: 12355371
12.  Quantitation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 RNA in Different Biological Compartments 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(4):1414-1418.
Little information is available describing viral loads in body fluids other than blood. In addition, the suitability of commercially available assays for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA quantitation has not been evaluated in most nonblood fluids. We compared Organon Teknika's nucleic acid sequence-based amplification method (NASBA) and Roche's Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor (reverse transcriptase PCR [RT-PCR]) for quantitating HIV-1 RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), saliva, breast milk, seminal plasma, and cervical-vaginal lavage fluid (CVL). Saliva and breast milk frequently demonstrated some inhibition in the RT-PCR assay, similar to the inhibition previously described in seminal plasma. Inhibition of the RT-PCR assay was not observed with CSF or CVL, nor in any of the NASBA assays. When fluids from HIV-infected individuals were tested by RT-PCR and NASBA, 73 and 27% of CSF samples and 60 and 40% of breast milk specimens had detectable RNA, respectively. These differences were not statistically significant. In cross-sectional studies using RT-PCR to measure viral RNA in paired blood plasma and CSF samples, 71% of blood plasma samples and 42% of CSF samples were positive. A similar analysis using NASBA with paired blood plasma and CVL, saliva, or seminal plasma samples revealed 91% were blood plasma positive and 55% were CVL positive, 76% were blood plasma positive and 46% were saliva positive, and 83% were blood plasma positive and 63% were seminal plasma positive. NASBA worked fairly well to quantitate HIV-1 RNA from all fluids without apparent inhibition. RT-PCR performed well on CVL and CSF, frequently with greater sensitivity, although its use in other fluids appears limited due to the presence of inhibitors. These studies demonstrate that viral loads in nonblood fluids were generally lower than in blood.
PMCID: PMC86455  PMID: 10747117
13.  Salivary Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor and Oral Candidiasis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Persons  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(4):1956-1963.
Oropharyngeal candidiasis, typically caused by Candida albicans, is the most common oral disease associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), a 12-kDa antiprotease, suppresses the growth of C. albicans in vitro. To determine whether the mucosal protein plays a role in protecting oral tissues against fungal infection, we conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the oral and systemic health and salivary SLPI levels in 91 dentate HIV-1-infected adults receiving medical care in the southeastern United States. Participants with a self-reported history of clinical oropharyngeal candidiasis during the previous 2 years constituted the test group (n = 52), while the comparison group (n = 39) had no oropharyngeal candidiasis during that period. Data collected from medical records, oral examination, and SLPI enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay quantitation of whole saliva were analyzed by t test, analysis of variance, linear regression, and unconditional logistic regression. The test group had a significantly higher mean salivary SLPI level than the comparison group (1.9 μg/ml versus 1.1 μg/ml, P < 0.05). Linear regression modeling identified CD4 cell count and history of oropharyngeal candidiasis as key predictors of salivary SLPI and revealed a significant interaction (P < 0.05) between immunosuppression (CD4 cell count below 200 cells/μl) and positive history of oropharyngeal candidiasis in predicting salivary SLPI level. By logistic regression modeling, a salivary SLPI level exceeding 2.1 μg/ml, low CD4 count, antiretroviral monotherapy, and smoking were key predictors of oropharyngeal candidiasis. These data support a key role for SLPI in the oral mucosal defense against C. albicans. The antimicrobial mucosal protein may serve as an indicator of previous oropharyngeal candidiasis infection among immunosuppressed persons.
PMCID: PMC375171  PMID: 15039315
14.  The Neonatal Fc Receptor (FcRn) Enhances Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Transcytosis across Epithelial Cells 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(11):e1003776.
The mechanisms by which human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) crosses mucosal surfaces to establish infection are unknown. Acidic genital secretions of HIV-1-infected women contain HIV-1 likely coated by antibody. We found that the combination of acidic pH and Env-specific IgG, including that from cervicovaginal and seminal fluids of HIV-1-infected individuals, augmented transcytosis across epithelial cells as much as 20-fold compared with Env-specific IgG at neutral pH or non-specific IgG at either pH. Enhanced transcytosis was observed with clinical HIV-1 isolates, including transmitted/founder strains, and was eliminated in Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn)-knockdown epithelial cells. Non-neutralizing antibodies allowed similar or less transcytosis than neutralizing antibodies. However, the ratio of total:infectious virus was higher for neutralizing antibodies, indicating that they allowed transcytosis while blocking infectivity of transcytosed virus. Immunocytochemistry revealed abundant FcRn expression in columnar epithelia lining the human endocervix and penile urethra. Acidity and Env-specific IgG enhance transcytosis of virus across epithelial cells via FcRn and could facilitate translocation of virus to susceptible target cells following sexual exposure.
Author Summary
HIV-1 causes a sexually transmitted disease. However, the mechanisms employed by the virus to cross genital tract tissue and establish infection are uncertain. Since cervicovaginal fluid is acidic and HIV-1 in cervicovaginal fluid is likely coated with antibodies, we explored the effect of low pH and HIV-1-specific antibodies on transcytosis, the movement of HIV-1 across tight-junctioned epithelial cells. We found that the combination of HIV-1-specific antibodies and low pH enhanced transcytosis as much as 20-fold. Virus that underwent transcytosis under these conditions was infectious, and infectivity was highly influenced by whether or not the antibody neutralized the virus. We observed enhanced transcytosis using antibody from cervicovaginal and seminal fluids and using transmitted/founder strains of HIV-1. We also found that the enhanced transcytosis was due to the Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn), which binds immune complexes at acidic pH and releases them at neutral pH. Finally, staining of human tissue revealed abundant FcRn expression on columnar epithelial cells of penile urethra and endocervix. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism wherein HIV-1 may facilitate its own transmission by usurping the antibody response directed against itself. These results have important implications for HIV vaccine development and for understanding the earliest events in HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3836734  PMID: 24278022
15.  Characterization of SIV in the Oral Cavity and in Vitro Inhibition of SIV by Rhesus Macaque Saliva 
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections are rarely acquired via an oral route in adults. Previous studies have shown that human whole saliva inhibits HIV infection in vitro, and multiple factors present in human saliva have been shown to contribute to this antiviral activity. Despite the widespread use of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques as models for HIV pathogenesis and transmission, few studies have monitored SIV in the oral cavity of infected rhesus macaques and evaluated the viral inhibitory capacity of macaque saliva. Utilizing a cohort of rhesus macaques infected with SIVMac251, we monitored virus levels and genotypic diversity in the saliva throughout the course of the disease; findings were similar to previous observations in HIV-infected humans. An in vitro infectivity assay was utilized to measure inhibition of HIV/SIV infection by normal human and rhesus macaque whole saliva. Both human and macaque saliva were capable of inhibiting HIV and SIV infection. The inhibitory capacity of saliva samples collected from a cohort of animals postinfection with SIV increased over the course of disease, coincident with the development of SIV-specific antibodies in the saliva. These findings suggest that both innate and adaptive factors contribute to inhibition of SIV by whole macaque saliva. This work also demonstrates that SIV-infected rhesus macaques provide a relevant model to examine the innate and adaptive immune responses that inhibit HIV/SIV in the oral cavity.
PMCID: PMC2957632  PMID: 20672998
16.  Modulation of HIV Binding to Epithelial Cells and HIV Transfer from Immature Dendritic Cells to CD4 T Lymphocytes by Human Lactoferrin and its Major Exposed LF-33 Peptide 
Lactoferrin (LF), a multifunctional molecule present in human secretions, has potent inhibitory activities against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The aim of the study was to evaluate whether human LF (hLF) and its exposed domain LF-33 represented by the peptide (LF-33-GRRRRSVQWCAVSQPEATKCFQWQRNMRKVRGP) involved in LF-HIV gag binding and endotoxines neutralization, may inhibit early steps of HIV mucosal transmission. Human LF and the peptide LF-33 inhibited the attachment of primary X4-tropic HIV-1NDK and R5-tropic HIV-1JR-CSF strains to human endometrial (HEC-1) and colorectal (HT-29) CD4-negative epithelial cells, the purified hLF being more potent (up to 80%) than the LF-33 peptide. In addition, the hLF, but not the LF-33 peptide, inhibited up to 40% the transfer in trans of HIV-1JR-CSF and HIV-1NDK, from immature dendritic cells to CD4 T lymphocytes, likely in a DC-SIGN-dependent manner. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that hLF can interfere with HIV-1 mucosal transmission by blocking virus attachment to epithelial cells and by inhibiting virus transfer from dendritic cells to CD4 T cells, two crucial steps of HIV dissemination from mucosae to lymphoid tissue.
PMCID: PMC3109640  PMID: 21660187
Lactoferrin; HIV-1; mucosal transmission.
17.  Effect of Human Saliva on Glucose Uptake by Streptococcus mutans and Other Oral Microorganisms 
Infection and Immunity  1981;31(2):598-607.
We examined the effects of human whole salivary supernatant and parotid fluid on glucose uptake by Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguis, Streptococcus mitis, Actinomyces viscosus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli. The following three effects of saliva were observed: (i) inhibition of glucose uptake (S. mutans, S. sanguis), (ii) promotion of a transient, rapid (0 to 30 s) burst of glucose uptake (S. mutans, S. sanguis), and (iii) enhancement of glucose uptake (S. mitis, A. viscosus, S. aureus, E. coli). We observed no differences between the effects of whole salivary supernatant and the effects of parotid fluid. Heat treatment (80°C, 10 min) of saliva or the addition of dithiothreitol abolished inhibition of glucose uptake. Supplementation of saliva with H2O2 potentiated inhibition of glucose uptake. S. mitis and A. viscosus, which were stimulated by saliva alone, were inhibited by H2O2-supplemented saliva; 50% inhibition of glucose uptake by S. mutans and S. mitis required ca. 10 μM H2O2 in 50% (vol/vol) saliva. Loss of the inhibitory action of saliva occurred at about 5% (vol/vol) saliva. Supplementation of saliva dilutions with SCN− and H2O2 extended the inhibitory activity to solutions containing ca. 0.2% (vol/vol) saliva. We suggest that the salivary lactoperoxidase-SCN−-H2O2 system is responsible for the inhibitory activity of saliva reported here. Furthermore, we concluded that lactoperoxidase and SCN− are present in saliva specimens in concentrations that exceed minimal inhibitory levels by factors of ca. 500 and 10 to 20, respectively. The resistance of A. viscosus, S. aureus, and E. coli to the inhibitory potential of saliva alone was probably due to the production of catalase by these organisms. The resistance of S. mitis may have been due to special effects of saliva on H2O2 accumulation by this organism compared with S. mutans and S. sanguis. The basis of saliva-dependent enhancement of glucose uptake and the basis of promotion of a transient, rapid burst of glucose uptake are unknown. The role of the salivary lactoperoxidase-SCN−-H2O2 system in the oral microbial ecosystem is discussed.
PMCID: PMC351351  PMID: 7012014
18.  Herpes Simplex Virus Downregulates Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor: a Novel Immune Evasion Mechanism ▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(19):9337-9344.
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), an anti-inflammatory mediator of mucosal immunity, inhibits human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) in cell culture. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that higher concentrations of SLPI in mucosal secretions are associated with a reduced risk of HIV transmission. The current studies were designed to test the hypothesis that HSV triggers a loss of SLPI to evade innate immunity and that this response may contribute to the increased risk of HIV infection in the setting of HSV infection. Exposure of human cervical epithelial cells to HSV-1 or HSV-2, but not HIV or vesicular stomatitis virus, triggered a significant and sustained reduction in SLPI levels. The reduction persisted when cells were infected in the presence of acyclovir but not following infection with UV-inactivated virus, indicating that viral gene expression, but not replication, is required. Reverse transcriptase PCR studies demonstrated that the loss of SLPI is mediated by downregulation of gene expression. SLPI downregulation was associated with activation of NF-κB signaling pathways and upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, consistent with the known inhibitor effects of SLPI on NF-κB pathways. The downregulation mapped to viral early-gene expression, as variants impaired in expression of the ICP4 or ICP0 immediate-early gene failed to downregulate SLPI or activate NF-κB. Together, these results identify a novel role for HSV immediate-early-gene expression in regulating mucosal immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2546954  PMID: 18667508
19.  Short Communication: Increased Expression of Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor in Oral Mucosa of Colombian HIV Type 1-Exposed Seronegative Individuals 
The exposure to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) does not always result in infection. Indeed, there are individuals who have been repeatedly exposed to HIV-1 but do not exhibit clinical or serological evidence of infection; they are known as HIV-exposed seronegative individuals (HESN). To determine if secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), a soluble factor secreted by epithelial cells lining mucosal surfaces that showed anti-HIV activity in vitro, was associated with natural resistance to HIV infection, we measured by real time RT-PCR the expression of SLPI in oral mucosa of a cohort of Colombian HESN, in chronically HIV-1-infected individuals and in healthy controls. The HESN expressed significantly higher levels of SLPI mRNA than healthy controls (p=0.033) and chronically infected subjects (p=0.011). These findings suggest an association between SLPI expression and the natural resistance to HIV-1 infection exhibited by our HESN cohort.
PMCID: PMC3423646  PMID: 22149181
20.  Infection of Macrophages and Dendritic Cells with Primary R5-Tropic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Inhibited by Natural Polyreactive Anti-CCR5 Antibodies Purified from Cervicovaginal Secretions▿  
Heterosexual contact is the primary mode of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) transmission worldwide. The chemokine receptor CCR5 is the major coreceptor that is associated with the mucosal transmission of R5-tropic HIV-1 during sexual intercourse. The CCR5 molecule is thus a target for antibody-based therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking HIV-1 entry into cells. We have previously demonstrated that polyreactive natural antibodies (NAbs) from therapeutic preparations of immunoglobulin G and from human breast milk contain NAbs directed against CCR5. Such antibodies inhibit the infection of human macrophages and T lymphocytes by R5-tropic isolates of HIV in vitro. In the present study, we demonstrate that human immunoglobulins from the cervicovaginal secretions of HIV-seronegative or HIV-seropositive women contain NAbs directed against the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5. Natural affinity-purified anti-CCR5 antibodies bound to CCR5 expressed on macrophages and dendritic cells and further inhibited the infection of macrophages and dendritic cells with primary and laboratory-adapted R5-tropic HIV but not with X4-tropic HIV. Natural anti-CCR5 antibodies moderately inhibited R5-tropic HIV transfer from monocyte-derived dendritic cells to autologous T cells. Our results suggest that mucosal anti-CCR5 antibodies from healthy immunocompetent donors may hamper the penetration of HIV and may be suitable for use in the development of novel passive immunotherapy regimens in specific clinical settings of HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC2394833  PMID: 18353923
21.  A Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Soluble Immune Factor Environment of Rectal and Oral Mucosa 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100820.
Sexual transmission of HIV occurs across a mucosal surface, which contains many soluble immune factors important for HIV immunity. Although the composition of mucosal fluids in the vaginal and oral compartments has been studied extensively, the knowledge of the expression of these factors in the rectal mucosa has been understudied and is very limited. This has particular relevance given that the highest rates of HIV acquisition occur via the rectal tract. To further our understanding of rectal mucosa, this study uses a proteomics approach to characterize immune factor components of rectal fluid, using saliva as a comparison, and evaluates its antiviral activity against HIV.
Paired salivary fluid (n = 10) and rectal lavage fluid (n = 10) samples were collected from healthy, HIV seronegative individuals. Samples were analyzed by label-free tandem mass spectrometry to comprehensively identify and quantify mucosal immune protein abundance differences between saliva and rectal fluids. The HIV inhibitory capacity of these fluids was further assessed using a TZM-bl reporter cell line.
Of the 315 proteins identified in rectal lavage fluid, 72 had known immune functions, many of which have described anti-HIV activity, including cathelicidin, serpins, cystatins and antileukoproteinase. The majority of immune factors were similarly expressed between fluids, with only 21 differentially abundant (p<0.05, multiple comparison corrected). Notably, rectal mucosa had a high abundance of mucosal immunoglobulins and antiproteases relative to saliva, Rectal lavage limited HIV infection by 40–50% in vitro (p<0.05), which is lower than the potent anti-HIV effect of oral mucosal fluid (70–80% inhibition, p<0.005).
This study reveals that rectal mucosa contains many innate immune factors important for host immunity to HIV and can limit viral replication in vitro. This indicates an important role for this fluid as the first line of defense against HIV.
PMCID: PMC4076261  PMID: 24978053
22.  Oral Fluids as an Alternative to Serum for Measurement of Markers of Immune Activation 
Oral fluids are convenient alternatives to blood sampling for evaluating significant metabolic components. Two forms of oral fluids, oral mucosal transudates (OMT) and saliva, were collected and compared for content of soluble products of immune activation. The data confirm that OMT and saliva represent distinct body fluids. The concentrations, outputs, and analyte/protein ratios of β-2-microglobulin (β2M), soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor II (sTNFαRII), and neopterin were measured. Both the OMT and the saliva of most of the individuals in the control healthy populations had measurable levels of all three activation markers. When the immune system is activated, as in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the levels of β2M and sTNFαRII are increased in both OMT and saliva compared to those in a healthy control population. OMT levels correlated better with levels in serum than did saliva and appear to reflect systemic immune activation in HIV infection. Because acquisition of oral fluids is noninvasive and easily repeatable, measurement of β2M and/or sTNFαRII content in OMT could be useful in the assessment of disease activity in patients with HIV infection or chronic inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC95609  PMID: 9665958
23.  Slaying the Trojan Horse: Natural Killer Cells Exhibit Robust Anti-HIV-1 Antibody-Dependent Activation and Cytolysis against Allogeneic T Cells 
Journal of Virology  2014;89(1):97-109.
Many attempts to design prophylactic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccines have focused on the induction of neutralizing antibodies (Abs) that block infection by free virions. Despite the focus on viral particles, virus-infected cells, which can be found within mucosal secretions, are more infectious than free virus both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, assessment of human transmission couples suggests infected seminal lymphocytes might be responsible for a proportion of HIV-1 transmissions. Although vaccines that induce neutralizing Abs are sought, only some broadly neutralizing Abs efficiently block cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1. As HIV-1 vaccines need to elicit immune responses capable of controlling both free and cell-associated virus, we evaluated the potential of natural killer (NK) cells to respond in an Ab-dependent manner to allogeneic T cells bearing HIV-1 antigens. This study presents data measuring Ab-dependent anti-HIV-1 NK cell responses to primary and transformed allogeneic T-cell targets. We found that NK cells are robustly activated in an anti-HIV-1 Ab-dependent manner against allogeneic targets and that tested target cells are subject to Ab-dependent cytolysis. Furthermore, the educated KIR3DL1+ NK cell subset from HLA-Bw4+ individuals exhibits an activation advantage over the KIR3DL1− subset that contains both NK cells educated through other receptor/ligand combinations and uneducated NK cells. These results are intriguing and important for understanding the regulation of Ab-dependent NK cell responses and are potentially valuable for designing Ab-dependent therapies and/or vaccines.
IMPORTANCE NK cell-mediated anti-HIV-1 antibody-dependent functions have been associated with protection from infection and disease progression; however, their role in protecting from infection with allogeneic cells infected with HIV-1 is unknown. We found that HIV-1-specific ADCC antibodies bound to allogeneic cells infected with HIV-1 or coated with HIV-1 gp120 were capable of activating NK cells and/or trigging cytolysis of the allogeneic target cells. This suggests ADCC may be able to assist in preventing infection with cell-associated HIV-1. In order to fully utilize NK cell-mediated Ab-dependent effector functions, it might also be important that educated NK cells, which hold the highest activation potential, can become activated against targets bearing HIV-1 antigens and expressing the ligands for self-inhibitory receptors. Here, we show that with Ab-dependent stimulation, NK cells expressing inhibitory receptors can mediate robust activation against targets expressing the ligands for those receptors.
PMCID: PMC4301139  PMID: 25320293
24.  Adaptive HIV-Specific B Cell-Derived Humoral Immune Defenses of the Intestinal Mucosa in Children Exposed to HIV via Breast-Feeding 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63408.
We evaluated whether B cell-derived immune defenses of the gastro-intestinal tract are activated to produce HIV-specific antibodies in children continuously exposed to HIV via breast-feeding.
Couples of HIV-1-infected mothers (n = 14) and their breastfed non HIV-infected (n = 8) and HIV-infected (n = 6) babies, and healthy HIV-negative mothers and breastfed babies (n = 10) as controls, were prospectively included at the Complexe Pédiatrique of Bangui, Central African Republic. Immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG and IgM) and anti-gp160 antibodies from mother’s milk and stools of breastfed children were quantified by ELISA. Immunoaffinity purified anti-gp160 antibodies were characterized functionally regarding their capacity to reduce attachment and/or infection of R5- and X4- tropic HIV-1 strains on human colorectal epithelial HT29 cells line or monocyte-derived-macrophages (MDM).
The levels of total IgA and IgG were increased in milk of HIV-infected mothers and stools of HIV-exposed children, indicating the activation of B cell-derived mucosal immunity. Breast milk samples as well as stool samples from HIV-negative and HIV-infected babies exposed to HIV by breast-feeding, contained high levels of HIV-specific antibodies, mainly IgG antibodies, less frequently IgA antibodies, and rarely IgM antibodies. Relative ratios of excretion by reference to lactoferrin calculated for HIV-specific IgA, IgG and IgM in stools of HIV-exposed children were largely superior to 1, indicating active production of HIV-specific antibodies by the intestinal mucosa. Antibodies to gp160 purified from pooled stools of HIV-exposed breastfed children inhibited the attachment of HIV-1NDK on HT29 cells by 63% and on MDM by 77%, and the attachment of HIV-1JRCSF on MDM by 40%; and the infection of MDM by HIV-1JRCSF by 93%.
The intestinal mucosa of children exposed to HIV by breast-feeding produces HIV-specific antibodies harbouring in vitro major functional properties against HIV. These observations lay the conceptual basis for the design of a prophylactic vaccine against HIV in exposed children.
PMCID: PMC3660449  PMID: 23704905
25.  Molecular Interactions of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 with Primary Human Oral Keratinocytes 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(13):8440-8453.
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.
PMCID: PMC1143773  PMID: 15956588

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