Mucosal and systemic immune activation is present in human immunodeficiency virus-exposed seronegative women.
Immune parameters were analyzed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and cervical mucosa biopsy specimens of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seronegative women sexually exposed to HIV (exposed seronegative [ESN]), HIV-infected women, and healthy women without HIV exposure. HIV was not detected in PBMC or cervical mucosa biopsy specimens of ESN women. However, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-12, interferon (IFN)-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and -beta mRNA were elevated in PBMC and cervical mucosa biopsy specimens of ESN and HIV-infected women; CCR5 and CXCR4 mRNA were augmented in cervical mucosa biopsy specimens, but not in PBMC, of ESN and HIV-infected women; HIV-specific IFN-gamma-secreting cells were detected in vaginal washes of ESN and HIV-infected women; and phenotypic alterations were present in PBMC of ESN women. These results suggest that active HIV infection is not required for T cell activation; immune alterations occur in women in whom HIV infection cannot be detected virologically or clinically.
Biasin, M; Caputo, SL; Speciale, L; Colombo, F; Racioppi, L; Zagliani, A; Blé, C; Vichi, F; Cianferoni, L; Masci, AM; Villa, ML; Ferrante, P; Mazzotta, F; Clerici, M
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