Macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) is a cytokine that promotes monocyte differentiation and survival. When overexpressed, M-CSF contributes to pathology in a wide variety of diseases, including osteoporosis, obesity, certain human cancers, and in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, particularly with respect to monocyte/macrophage infection and the development of HIV-1 associated central nervous system disorders. In this study, our aim was to expand the current knowledge of M-CSF regulation, focusing on nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), a transcription factor playing a prominent role during inflammation and HIV-1 infection. Our results suggest that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) promotes M-CSF secretion in primary macrophages and activates the −1310/+48 bp M-CSF promoter in Mono-Mac 1 cells. Inhibitors of the NF-κB pathway diminish this response. We identified four putative NF-κB and four CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein beta binding sites within the M-CSF promoter. Our findings, using promoter constructs mutated at individual NF-κB sites within the M-CSF promoter region, suggest that these sites are redundant with respect to NF-κB regulation. TNF-α treatment promoted NF-κB p65 binding to the M-CSF promoter in phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) treated U937 cells chronically infected with HIV-1 (U1 cells), but not in PMA treated uninfected U937 cells, suggesting that the presence of HIV-1 increases the NF-κB response. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that NF-κB induces M-CSF expression on a promoter level via multiple functional NF-κB binding sites and that this pathway is likely relevant in HIV-1 infection of macrophages.
The disappointing clinical failures of five topical vaginal microbicides have provided new insights into factors that impact microbicide safety and efficacy. Specifically, the greater risk for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquisition associated with multiple uses of a nonoxynol-9 (N-9)-containing product has highlighted the importance of application frequency as a variable during pre-clinical microbicide development, particularly in animal model studies.
To evaluate an association between application frequency and N-9 toxicity, experiments were performed using a mouse model of cervicovaginal microbicide safety. In this model system, changes in cervical and vaginal epithelial integrity, cytokine release, and immune cell infiltration were assessed after single and multiple exposures to N-9.
After the initial application of N-9 (aqueous, 1%), considerable damage to the cervical epithelium (but not the vaginal epithelium) was observed as early as 10 min post-exposure and up to 8 h post-exposure. Subsequent daily exposures (up to 4 days) were characterized by diminished cervical toxicity relative to single exposures of like duration. Levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines released into the cervicovaginal lumen and the degree of CD14-positive immune cell infiltration proximal to the cervical epithelium were also dependent on the number of N-9 exposures.
Rather than causing cumulative cervical epithelial damage, repeated applications of N-9 were characterized by decreased sensitivity to N-9-associated toxicity and lower levels of immune cell recruitment. These results provide new insights into the failure of N-9-based microbicides and illustrate the importance of considering multiple exposure protocols in pre-clinical microbicide development strategies.
Microbicide; N-9; Cervix; Mouse; Toxicity
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter or long-terminal repeat (LTR) regulates viral gene expression by interacting with multiple viral and host factors. The viral transactivator protein Tat plays an important role in transcriptional activation of HIV-1 gene expression. Functional domains of Tat and its interaction with transactivation response element RNA and cellular transcription factors have been examined. Genetic variation within tat of different HIV-1 subtypes has been shown to affect the interaction of the viral transactivator with cellular and/or viral proteins, influencing the overall level of transcriptional activation as well as its action as a neurotoxic protein. Consequently, the genetic variability within tat may impact the molecular architecture of functional domains of the Tat protein that may impact HIV pathogenesis and disease. Tat as a therapeutic target for anti-HIV drugs has also been discussed.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) primarily infects CD4+ T cells and cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage, resulting in immunodeficiency in an infected patient. Along with this immune deficiency, HIV-1 has been linked to a number of neurological symptoms in the absence of opportunistic infections or other co-morbidities, suggesting that HIV-1 is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), enter the central nervous system (CNS), and cause neurocognitive impairment. HIV-1-infected monocyte-macrophages traverse the BBB and enter the CNS throughout the course of HIV-1 disease. Once in the brain, both free virus and virus-infected cells are able to infect neighboring resident microglia and astrocytes and possibly other cell types. HIV-1-infected cells in both the periphery and the CNS give rise to elevated levels of viral proteins, including gp120, Tat, and Nef, and of host inflammatory mediators such as cytokines and chemokines. It has been shown that the viral proteins may act alone or in concert with host cytokines and chemokines, affecting the integrity of the BBB. The pathological end point of these interactions may facilitate a positive feedback loop resulting in increased penetration of HIV into the CNS. It is proposed in this review that the dysregulation of the BBB during and after neuroinvasion is a critical component of the neuropathogenic process and that dysregulation of this protective barrier is caused by a combination of viral and host factors including secreted viral proteins, components of the inflammatory process, the aging process, therapeutics, and drug or alcohol abuse.
HIV; blood-brain barrier; Tat; Nef; gp120; drugs of abuse
The cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent signaling pathway directs the expression of several genes involved in diverse neuroendocrine, immune, metabolic, and developmental pathways. The primary effectors of this pathway are members of the cAMP response element binding (CREB) family of transcription factors, in particular the CREB-1 and cAMP response element modulator (CREM). Both these genes encode alternative splice variants that serve as activators or repressors in a context- and position-specific manner. Although the β- chemokine receptor CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) has been identified on progenitor cells in the bone marrow, the regulatory mechanisms orchestrating its expression are not fully understood. Previous reports have identified putative cAMP response elements in the CCR5 promoter and have described a suppressive role of cAMP in CCR5 expression. In this study, the CD34+CD4+CCR5+ human bone marrow progenitor cell line TF-1 was used to investigate the detailed kinetics of CCR5 transcription in response to the elevation of intracellular cAMP levels and the underlying molecular events. We hypothesize that CCR5 transcription follows an asymmetrical sinusoidal pattern in TF-1 cells that parallels a protein kinase A-dependent alternating change in the ratio of activator pCREB-1-α,Δ to repressor pCREM-α,β isoforms. However, elevated CCR5 mRNA levels do not correlate with enhancement in infectivity with respect to the R5 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strain. Our results lend critical insight into the precise mechanism governing the cAMP-CCR5 axis in progenitor cells and pose interesting questions regarding its functional role in HIV-1 infection.
cAMP; CCR5; HIV-1
Continued efforts are being directed toward the development of microbicides that will be used to reduce or eliminate the risk of HIV-1 sexual transmission. Unfortunately, clinical trials involving polyanion-containing microbicide formulations, including Carraguard (λ-carrageenan [LC]) and Ushercell (cellulose sulfate [CS]) demonstrated that these products were ineffective and may have, in some circumstances, increased the risk of HIV-1 infection. These findings prompted reassessments of the in vitro activities of these agents to determine whether variables that can affect agent safety and efficacy had been overlooked during preclinical testing. One such variable is product retention and loss following topical application.
In the present studies involving an HIV-1-susceptible cell line and primary human immune cells, product loss was mimicked by introducing and then removing polyanionic compounds prior to HIV-1 infection. In these in vitro "washout" experiments, LC and CS significantly enhanced HIV-1 infection, despite potent antiviral activity when introduced simultaneously with the virus. The presence and magnitude of this effect were dependent on compound identity and concentration; target cell; interval between compound removal and virus challenge; and coreceptor usage. Levels of enhancement (relative to controls) were considerable, exceeding a 200% increase (CS) in P4-R5 MAGI cells and a 300% increase (LC) in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
These studies, which demonstrate significant increases in HIV-1 infection subsequent to application and removal of LC and CS, support plausible explanations for the failures of microbicides formulated from these compounds. Detailed studies are now underway to determine the mechanism responsible for this enhancement effect and to assess the potential contribution of this effect to the clinical failures of these agents.
AIDS; HIV-1; Microbicide; Polyanion; Carrageenan; Cellulose sulfate; Enhancement
Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with two immunologically distinct diseases: HTLV-1–associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis and adult T cell leukemia. We observed previously that depletion of dendritic cells (DCs) in CD11c-diphtheria toxin receptor transgenic mice followed by infection with cell-free virus led to greater proviral and Tax mRNA loads and diminished cellular immune response compared with mice infected with cell-associated virus. To understand the significance of these in vivo results and explore the host–pathogen interaction between DCs and cell-free HTLV-1, we used FLT3 ligand-cultured mouse bone marrow-derived DCs (FL-DCs) and chimeric HTLV-1. Phenotypically, the FL-DCs upregulated expression of surface markers (CD80, CD86, and MHC class II) on infection; however, the level of MHC class I remained unchanged. We performed kinetic studies to understand viral entry, proviral integration, and expression of the viral protein Tax. Multiplex cytokine profiling revealed production of an array of proinflammatory cytokines and type 1 IFN (IFN-α) by FL-DCs treated with virus. Virus-matured FL-DCs stimulated proliferation of autologous CD3+ T cells as shown by intracellular nuclear Ki67 staining and produced IFN-γ when cultured with infected FL-DCs. Gene expression studies using type 1 IFN-specific and DC-specific arrays revealed upregulation of IFN-stimulated genes, most cytokines, and transcription factors, but a distinct downregulation of many chemokines. Overall, these results highlight the critical early responses generated by FL-DCs on challenge with cell-free chimeric HTLV-1.
Specific glycosphingolipids (GSL), found on the surface of target immune cells, are recognized as alternate cell surface receptors by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) external envelope glycoprotein. In this study, the globotriose and 3’-sialyllactose carbohydrate head groups found on two GSL were covalently attached to a dendrimer core to produce two types of unique multivalent carbohydrates (MVC). These MVC inhibited HIV-1 infection of T cell lines and primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by T cell line-adapted viruses or primary isolates, with IC50s ranging from 0.1 – 7.4 µg/ml. Inhibition of Env-mediated membrane fusion by MVC was also observed using a dye-transfer assay. These carbohydrate compounds warrant further investigation as a potential new class of HIV-1 entry inhibitors. The data presented also shed light on the role of carbohydrate moieties in HIV-1 virus-host cell interactions.
human immunodeficiency virus-1; multivalent carbohydrates; 3’ sialyllactose; globotriose; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; T cell lines
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C, which is most predominant in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Asia and India, is the most prevalent subtype worldwide. A large number of transcription factor families have been shown to be involved in regulating HIV-1 gene expression in T lymphocytes and cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage. Among these, proteins of the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) family are of particular importance in regulating HIV-1 gene expression within cells of the monocytic lineage during the course of hematologic development and cellular activation. Few studies have examined the role of C/EBPs in long terminal repeat (LTR)-directed viral gene expression of HIV-1 subtypes other than subtype B. Within subtype B viruses, two functional C/EBP sites located upstream of the TATA box are required for efficient viral replication in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage. We report the identification of three putative subtype C C/EBP sites, upstream site 1 and 2 (C-US1 and C-US2) and downstream site 1 (C-DS1). C-US1 and C-DS1 were shown to form specific DNA-protein complexes with members of the C/EBP family (C/EBPα, β, and δ). Functionally, within the U-937 monocytic cell line, subtype B and C LTRs were shown to be equally responsive to C/EBPβ-2, although the basal activity of subtype C LTRs appeared to be higher. Furthermore, the synergistic interaction between C/EBPβ-2 and Tat with the subtype C LTR was also observed in U-937 cells as previously demonstrated with the subtype B LTR.
C/EBPβ; HIV-1; Subtype C; LTR; Transcription
The discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in 1982 soon led to the identification and development of antiviral compounds to be used in treatment strategies for infected patients. Early in the epidemic, drug monotherapies frequently led to treatment failures because the virus quickly developed resistance to the single drug. Following the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1995, dramatic improvements in HIV-1-infected patient health and survival were realized as more refined combination therapies resulted in reductions in viral loads and increases in CD4+ T-cell counts. In the absence of an effective vaccine, prevention of HIV-1 infection has also gained traction as an approach to curbing the pandemic. The development of compounds as safe and effective microbicides has intensified and has focused on blocking the transmission of HIV-1 during all forms of sexual intercourse. Initial preclinical investigations and clinical trials of microbicides focused on single compounds effective against HIV-1. However, the remarkable successes achieved using combination therapy to treat systemic HIV-1 infection have subsequently stimulated the study and development of combination microbicides that will simultaneously inhibit multiple aspects of the HIV-1 transmission process by targeting incoming viral particles, virus-infected cells, and cells susceptible to HIV-1 infection. This review focuses on existing and developing combination therapies, covering preclinical development, in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies, and subsequent clinical trials. The shift in focus within the microbicide development field from single compounds to combination approaches is also explored.
Vaginal microbicides that reduce or eliminate the risk of HIV-1 sexual transmission must do so safely without adversely affecting the integrity of the cervicovaginal epithelium. The present studies were performed to assess the safety of the biguanide-based antiviral compound NB325 in a formulation suitable for topical application. Experiments were performed using a mouse model of cervicovaginal microbicide application, which was previously shown to be predictive of topical agent toxicity revealed in microbicide clinical trials. Mice were exposed vaginally to unformulated NB325 or NB325 formulated in the hydroxyethyl cellulose “universal placebo.” Following exposures to formulated 1% NB325 for 10 min to 24 h, the vaginal and cervical epithelia were generally intact, although some areas of minimal vaginal epithelial damage were noted. Although formulated NB325 appeared generally safe for application in these studies, the low but observable level of toxicity suggests the need for improvements in the compound and/or formulation.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) viral protein R (Vpr) is a virion-associated regulatory protein that functions at several points within the viral life cycle and has been shown to accumulate primarily in the nucleus and at the nuclear envelope. However, most studies have investigated Vpr localization employing cell types irrelevant to HIV-1 pathogenesis. To gain a better understanding of how cellular phenotype might impact HIV-1 Vpr intracellular localization, Vpr localization was examined in several cell lines representing major cellular targets for HIV-1 infection within the peripheral blood, bone marrow, and central nervous system (CNS).
Utilizing a green fluorescent protein-tagged Vpr, we detected Vpr mainly in foci inside the nucleus, at the nuclear envelope, and around the nucleoli, with dispersed accumulation in the cytoplasm of human endothelial kidney 293T cells. No differences were observed in Vpr localization pattern with respect to either the location of the tag (N- or C-terminus) or the presence of other viral proteins. Subsequently, the Vpr localization pattern was explored in two primary HIV-1 target cells within the peripheral blood: the CD4+ T lymphocyte (represented by the Jurkat CD4+ T-cell line) and the monocyte-macrophage (represented by the U-937 cell line). Vpr was found primarily in speckles within the cytoplasm of the Jurkat T cells, whereas it accumulated predominantly intranuclearly in U-937 monocytic cells. These patterns differ from that observed in a bone marrow progenitor cell line (TF-1), wherein Vpr localized mainly at the nuclear envelope with some intranuclear punctuate staining. Within the CNS, we examined two astroglioma cell lines and found that Vpr displayed a perinuclear and cytoplasmic distribution.
The results suggest that the pattern of Vpr localization depends on cellular phenotype, probably owing to interactions between Vpr and cell type-specific host factors. These interactions, in turn, are likely coupled to specific roles that Vpr plays in each cell type within the context of the viral life cycle. Phenotype-specific Vpr localization patterns might also provide an explanation with respect to Vpr secretion or release from HIV-1-infected cells within the peripheral blood and CNS.
HIV-1; Vpr; localization pattern; phenotype; CD4+ T lymphocytes; monocytic cells; bone marrow progenitor cells; astrocytes
We screened ∼2,200 compounds known to be safe in people for the ability to reduce the amount of virion-associated hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the culture medium of producer cells. These efforts led to the discovery of an alkylated porphyrin, chlorophyllide, as the compound that achieved the greatest reduction in signal. Here we report that chlorophyllide directly and quantitatively disrupted HBV virions at micromolar concentrations, resulting in the loss of all detectable virion DNA, without detectably affecting cell viability or intracellular viral gene products. Chemophores of chlorophyllide were also tested. Chlorin e6, a metal-free chlorophyllide-like molecule, showed the strongest antiviral activity against HBV as well as profound antiviral effects on other enveloped viruses, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), dengue virus (DENV), Marburg virus (MARV), Tacaribe virus (TCRV), and Junin viruses (JUNV). Remarkably, chlorin e6 inactivated DENV at subnanomolar-level concentrations. However, the compound had no antiviral effect against encephalomyocarditis virus and adenovirus, suggesting that chlorin e6 may be less active or inactive against nonenveloped viruses. Although other porphyrin derivatives have been previously reported to possess antiviral activity, this is the first analysis of the biochemical impact of chlorophyllide and chlorin e6 against HBV and of the dramatic anti-infectivity impact upon DENV. The possible application of this family of compounds as antiviral agents, as microbicides and systemic virus neutralizing agents, is discussed.
Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with two immunologically distinct diseases: HTLV-1–associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis and adult T cell leukemia. The genesis of these diseases is believed to be associated with the route (mucosa versus blood) and mode (cell-free versus cell-associated) of primary infection as well as the modulation of dendritic cell (DC) functions. To explore the role of DCs during early HTLV-1 infection invivo, we used a chimeric HTLV-1 with a replaced envelope gene from Moloney murine leukemia virus to allow HTLV-1 to fuse with murine cells, which are generally not susceptible to infection with human retroviruses. We also used a CD11c-diphtheria toxin receptor transgenic mouse model system that permits conditional transient depletion of CD11c+ DCs. We infected these transgenic mice with HTLV-1 using both cell-free and cell-associated infection routes in the absence and presence of DCs. The ablation of DCs led to an enhanced susceptibility to infection with cell-free but not cell-associated HTLV-1 in both CD4 and non-CD4 fractions, as measured by the proviral load. Infection with cell-free virus in the absence of DCs was also found to have increased levels of Tax mRNA in the non-CD4 fraction. Moreover, depletion of DCs significantly dampened the cellular immune response (IFN-γ+CD8+ T cells) against both cell-free and cell-associated virus. These results uniquely differentiate the involvement of DCs in early cell-free versus late cell-associated infection of HTLV-1 and highlight a significant aspect of viral immunopathogenesis related to the progression of adult T cell leukemia and HTLV-1–associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis after the initial infection.
Over the past decade, antiretroviral therapy targeting the viral entry process, reverse transcriptase, integrase, and protease, has prolonged the lives of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). However, despite the development of more effective therapeutic strategies, reservoirs of viral infection remain. This review discusses molecular mechanisms surrounding the development of latency from the site of integration to pre- and post-integration maintenance of latency, including epigenetic factors. In addition, an overview of innate and adaptive cells important to HIV-1 infection are examined from the viewpoint of cytokines released and cytokines that act on these cells to explore an overall understanding of HIV-1 proviral genome activation. Finally, this review is discussed from the viewpoint of how an understanding of the interplay of all of these factors will help guide the next generation of therapies.
HIV-1; transcription; latency; immune factors
The long terminal repeat (LTR) regulates gene expression of HIV-1 by interacting with multiple host and viral factors. Cross-sectional studies in the pre-HAART era demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in peripheral blood-derived LTRs (a C-to-T change at position 3 of C/EBP site I (3T) and at position 5 of Sp site III (5T)) increased in frequency as disease severity increased. Additionally, the 3T variant correlated with HIV-1-associated dementia. LTR sequences derived by longitudinal sampling of peripheral blood from a single patient in the DrexelMed HIV/AIDS Genetic Analysis Cohort resulted in the detection of the 3T and 5T co-selected SNPs before the onset of neurologic impairment, demonstrating that these SNPs may be useful in predicting HIV-associated neurological complications. The relative fitness of the LTRs containing the 3T and/or 5T co-selected SNPs as they evolve in their native patient-derived LTR backbone structure demonstrated a spectrum of basal and Tat-mediated transcriptional activities using the IIIB-derived Tat and colinear Tat derived from the same molecular clone containing the 3T/5T LTR SNP. In silico predictions utilizing colinear envelope sequence suggested that the patient’s virus evolved from an X4 to an R5 swarm prior to the development of neurological complications and more advanced HIV disease. These results suggest that the HIV-1 genomic swarm may evolve during the course of disease in response to selective pressures that lead to changes in prevalence of specific polymorphisms in the LTR, env, and/or tat that could predict the onset of neurological disease and result in alterations in viral function.
HIV-1; SNP; HAND; LTR; Env
We previously demonstrated that the biguanide-based compound NB325 inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection by interacting with the CXCR4 viral coreceptor. This interaction also appeared to be persistent, since HIV-1 infection was inhibited even when the virus was introduced subsequent to the removal of NB325 from the cell culture medium. The present studies were conducted to determine the extent and mechanism of this prolonged antiviral activity. Persistent inhibition of HIV-1 infection by NB325 was concentration dependent and was apparent up to 8 h after removal of the compound. Flow cytometric analyses of stimulated CD4+ T lymphocytes exposed to NB325 demonstrated concentration-dependent reductions in CXCR4 extracellular loop 2 epitope recognition that were maintained up to 24 h after removal of the compound. CXCL12-induced chemotaxis was also persistently inhibited following pre-exposure to NB325. These results demonstrate that persistent inhibition of X4 HIV-1 infection by NB325 involves extended perturbation of the viral coreceptor CXCR4.
copolymer of styrene and maleic acid
(alt-PSMA) differs from other
polyanionic antiviral agents in that the
negative charges of alt-PSMA
are provided by carboxylic acid groups instead
of sulfate or sulfonate moieties. We
hypothesized that alt-PSMA
would have activity against human
immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) comparable
to other polyanions, such as the related
compound, poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate)
(PSS). In assays using cell lines and primary
immune cells, alt-PSMA was
characterized by low cytotoxicity and effective
inhibition of infection by HIV-1 BaL and IIIB as
well as clinical isolates of subtypes A, B, and
C. In mechanism of action assays, in which each
compound was added to cells and subsequently
removed prior to HIV-1 infection
alt-PSMA caused no enhancement
of infection, while PSS washout increased
infection 70% above control levels. These
studies demonstrate that
alt-PSMA is an effective HIV-1
inhibitor with properties that warrant further
Despite the susceptibility of dendritic cells (DCs) to human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection and the defined role of these cells in disease pathogenesis, the mechanisms of viral binding to DCs have not been fully delineated. Recently, a glucose transporter, GLUT-1, heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), and neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) were demonstrated to facilitate HTLV-1 entry into T cells. DCs express their own array of antigen receptors, the most important being the DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3)-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) with respect to retrovirus binding. Consequently, the role of DC-SIGN and other HTLV-1 attachment factors was analyzed in viral binding, transmission, and productive infection using monocyte-derived DCs (MDDCs), blood myeloid DCs, and B-cell lines expressing DC-SIGN. The relative expression of DC-SIGN, GLUT-1, HSPGs, and NRP-1 first was examined on both DCs and B-cell lines. Although the inhibition of these molecules reduced viral binding, HTLV-1 transmission from DCs to T cells was mediated primarily by DC-SIGN. DC-SIGN also was shown to play a role in the infection of MDDCs as well as model B-cell lines. The HTLV-1 infection of MDDCs also was achieved in blood myeloid DCs following the enhancement of virus-induced interleukin-4 production and subsequent DC-SIGN expression in this cell population. This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of potential HTLV-1 receptors on DCs and strongly suggests that DC-SIGN plays a critical role in HTLV-1 binding, transmission, and infection, thereby providing an attractive target for the development of antiretroviral therapeutics and microbicides.
Infection with retroviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) have been shown to lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as HIV-associated dementia (HAD) or neuroAIDS and HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP), respectively.
HIV-1-induced neurologic disease is associated with an influx of HIV-infected monocytic cells across the blood-brain barrier. Following neuroinvasion, HIV-1 and viral proteins, in addition to cellular mediators released from infected and uninfected cells participate in astrocytic and neuronal dysregulation, leading to mild to severe neurocognitive disorders.
The molecular architecture of viral regulatory components including the Long Terminal Repeat (LTR), genes encoding the viral proteins Tat, Vpr and Nef as well as the envelope gene encoding gp120 and gp41 have been implicated in ‘indirect’ mechanisms of neuronal injury, mechanisms which are likely responsible for the majority of CNS damage induced by HIV-1 infection. The neuropathogenesis of HAM/TSP is linked, in part, with both intra-and extracellular effectors functions of the viral transactivator protein Tax and likely other viral proteins. Tax is traditionally known to localize in the nucleus of infected cells serving as a regulator of both viral and cellular gene expression.
However, recent evidence has suggested that Tax may also accumulate in the cytoplasm and be released from the infected cell through regulated cellular secretion processes. Once in the extracellular environment, Tax may cause functional alterations in cells of the peripheral blood, lymphoid organs and the central nervous system. These extracellular biological activities of Tax are likely very relevant to the neuropathogenesis of HTLV-1 and represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention.
HIV-1; HTLV-1; neuropathogenesis; viral proteins
Despite massive national efforts to scale up Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) access in India since 2004, the AIDS death rate was 17.2 per 100,000 persons during 2003-2005. In the era of HAART in resource poor settings, it is imperative to understand and address the causes of AIDS related mortality. This collaborative study aimed at defining the predictors of mortality among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) admitted during 2003-2005 to the Freedom Foundation (FF) Care and Support facility, Bangalore, India.
Fifty consecutively selected HIV-infected patients who died during the study period and 50 HIV-infected patients matched by age, gender, route of transmission, nutrition status and stage of disease who survived at least 12 months post-ART were included in this study. The impact on mortality by factors such as: Hemoglobin, CD4+T lymphocyte counts, weight loss and Opportunistic Infections (OIs) were studied. Statistical analyses were done by Chi-square, Fisher’s Exact Test, Kaplan-Meier and multivariate logistic regression.
Recurrent diarrhea was a significant risk factor for mortality (OR = 12.25, p = 0.004), followed by a diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) at first admission (OR = 4.86) while TB in general also negatively impacted survival (p = 0.002). Though not statistically significant, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, Cryptococcal meningitis and Toxoplasmosis also negatively affected survival. Mortality was high among those not on HAART (81%) while it was significantly reduced (28%) among those on HAART (p<0.001). Patients who died had elevated liver enzymes (p = 0.027) and significant weight loss (p = 0.012). Mortality was high among patients irregular with their medical follow-up (p<0.001).
Interventions that facilitate early OI diagnosis and treatment especially diarrhea and TB may reduce mortality in HIV. HAART alone without proper OI management and nutrition did not prevent mortality among PLHA. In resource poor settings, it becomes imperative to focus on low cost tools and increased capacity building along with regular clinical follow-up for diagnosis and early treatment of OIs. Further studies are warranted to explore benefits of initiating HAART earlier than currently recommended.
HIV-1; tuberculosis; opportunistic infections; antiretroviral therapy; diarrhea
Previous studies indicate that two upstream CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) sites and C/EBPβ are required for subtype B HIV-1 gene expression in cells of the monocyte–macrophage lineage. The mechanisms of C/EBP regulation of HIV-1 transcription and replication remain unclear. This review focuses on studies concerning the role of C/EBP factors in HIV-1, human T-cell leukemia virus type 1, and SIV transcription in various cell types and tissues cultured in vitro, animal models and during human infection. The structure and function of the C/EBPβ gene and the related protein isoforms are discussed along with the transcription factors, coactivators, viral proteins, cytokines and chemokines that affect C/EBP function.
CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein; gene expression; HIV-1; human T -cell leukemia virus type-1; retrovirus; SIV; transcription
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has been shown to replicate productively in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage, although replication occurs to a lesser extent than in infected T cells. As cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage become differentiated and activated and subsequently travel to a variety of end organs, they become a source of infectious virus and secreted viral proteins and cellular products that likely initiate pathological consequences in a number of organ systems. During this process, alterations in a number of signaling pathways, including the level and functional properties of many cellular transcription factors, alter the course of HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR)-directed gene expression. This process ultimately results in events that contribute to the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. First, increased transcription leads to the upregulation of infectious virus production, and the increased production of viral proteins (gp120, Tat, Nef, and Vpr), which have additional activities as extracellular proteins. Increased viral production and the presence of toxic proteins lead to enhanced deregulation of cellular functions increasing the production of toxic cellular proteins and metabolites and the resulting organ-specific pathologic consequences such as neuroAIDS. This article reviews the structural and functional features of the cis-acting elements upstream and downstream of the transcriptional start site in the retroviral LTR. It also includes a discussion of the regulation of the retroviral LTR in the monocyte-macrophage lineage during virus infection of the bone marrow, the peripheral blood, the lymphoid tissues, and end organs such as the brain. The impact of genetic variation on LTR-directed transcription during the course of retrovirus disease is also reviewed.