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author:("charaka, A.")
1.  Plausibility of HIV-1 Infection of Oral Mucosal Epithelial Cells 
Advances in Dental Research  2011;23(1):38-44.
The AIDS pandemic continues. Little is understood about how HIV gains access to permissive cells across mucosal surfaces, yet such knowledge is crucial to the development of successful topical anti-HIV-1 agents and mucosal vaccines. HIV-1 rapidly internalizes and integrates into the mucosal keratinocyte genome, and integrated copies of HIV-1 persist upon cell passage. The virus does not appear to replicate, and the infection may become latent. Interactions between HIV-1 and oral keratinocytes have been modeled in the context of key environmental factors, including putative copathogens and saliva. In keratinocytes, HIV-1 internalizes within minutes; in saliva, an infectious fraction escapes inactivation and is harbored and transferable to permissive target cells for up to 48 hours. When incubated with the common oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, CCR5− oral keratinocytes signal through protease-activated receptors and Toll-like receptors to induce expression of CCR5, which increases selective uptake of infectious R5-tropic HIV-1 into oral keratinocytes and transfer to permissive cells. Hence, oral keratinocytes—like squamous keratinocytes of other tissues—may be targets for low-level HIV-1 internalization and subsequent dissemination by transfer to permissive cells.
doi:10.1177/0022034511399283
PMCID: PMC3144042  PMID: 21441479
HIV/AIDS; epithelia; oral epithelium; infectious disease; mucosal immunity; vaccines
2.  Altering Host Resistance to Infections through Microbial Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26988.
Host resistance to bacterial infections is thought to be dictated by host genetic factors. Infections by the natural murine enteric pathogen Citrobacter rodentium (used as a model of human enteropathogenic and enterohaemorrhagic E. coli infections) vary between mice strains, from mild self-resolving colonization in NIH Swiss mice to lethality in C3H/HeJ mice. However, no clear genetic component had been shown to be responsible for the differences observed with C. rodentium infections. Because the intestinal microbiota is important in regulating resistance to infection, and microbial composition is dependent on host genotype, it was tested whether variations in microbial composition between mouse strains contributed to differences in “host” susceptibility by transferring the microbiota of resistant mice to lethally susceptible mice prior to infection. Successful transfer of the microbiota from resistant to susceptible mice resulted in delayed pathogen colonization and mortality. Delayed mortality was associated with increased IL-22 mediated innate defense including antimicrobial peptides Reg3γ and Reg3β, and immunono-neutralization of IL-22 abrogated the beneficial effect of microbiota transfer. Conversely, depletion of the native microbiota in resistant mice by antibiotics and transfer of the susceptible mouse microbiota resulted in reduced innate defenses and greater pathology upon infection. This work demonstrates the importance of the microbiota and how it regulates mucosal immunity, providing an important factor in susceptibility to enteric infection. Transfer of resistance through microbial transplantation (bacteriotherapy) provides additional mechanisms to alter “host” resistance, and a novel means to alter enteric infection and to study host-pathogen interactions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026988
PMCID: PMC3203939  PMID: 22046427
3.  An Internal Polarity Landmark Is Important for Externally Induced Hyphal Behaviors in Candida albicans▿  
Eukaryotic Cell  2008;7(4):712-720.
Directional growth is a function of polarized cells such as neurites, pollen tubes, and fungal hyphae. Correct orientation of the extending cell tip depends on signaling pathways and effectors that mediate asymmetric responses to specific environmental cues. In the hyphal form of the eukaryotic fungal pathogen Candida albicans, these responses include thigmotropism and galvanotropism (hyphal turning in response to changes in substrate topography and imposed electrical fields, respectively) and penetration into semisolid substrates. During vegetative growth in C. albicans, as in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Ras-like GTPase Rsr1 mediates internal cellular cues to position new buds in a prespecified pattern on the mother cell cortex. Here, we demonstrate that Rsr1 is also important for hyphal tip orientation in response to the external environmental cues that induce thigmotropic and galvanotropic growth. In addition, Rsr1 is involved in hyphal interactions with epithelial cells in vitro and its deletion diminishes the hyphal invasion of kidney tissue during systemic infection. Thus, Rsr1, an internal polarity landmark in yeast, is also involved in polarized growth responses to asymmetric environmental signals, a paradigm that is different from that described for the homologous protein in S. cerevisiae. Rsr1 may thereby contribute to the pathogenesis of C. albicans infections by influencing hyphal tip responses triggered by interaction with host tissues.
doi:10.1128/EC.00453-07
PMCID: PMC2292634  PMID: 18281602
4.  Oral keratinocytes support non-replicative infection and transfer of harbored HIV-1 to permissive cells 
Retrovirology  2008;5:66.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-5-66
PMCID: PMC2491655  PMID: 18637194
5.  Porphyromonas gingivalis induces CCR5-dependent transfer of infectious HIV-1 from oral keratinocytes to permissive cells 
Retrovirology  2008;5:29.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-5-29
PMCID: PMC2292744  PMID: 18371227

Results 1-5 (5)