HIV-1 sexual transmission: Early events of HIV-1 infection of human cervico-vaginal tissue in an optimized ex vivo model

E. Saba, Jean-Charles B. Grivel, C. Vanpouille, B. Brichacek, W. Fitzgerald, L. Margolis, A. Lisco

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Infection and dissemination of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 through the female body after vaginal intercourse depends on the activation/ differentiation status of mucosal CD4 T cells. In this study, we investigated this status and the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection of human cervico-vaginal tissue ex vivo. We found that virtually all T cells are of the effector memory phenotype with broad CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) expression. As it does in vivo, human cervico-vaginal tissue ex vivo preferentially supports the productive infection of R5 HIV-1 rather than that of X4 HIV-1 in spite of the broad expression of CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). X4 HIV-1 replicated only in the few tissues that were enriched in CD27+ CD28+ effector memory CD4 T cells. Productive infection of R5 HIV-1 occurred preferentially in activated CD38+ CD4 T cells and was followed by a similar activation of HIV-1-uninfected (bystander) CD4 T cells that may amplify viral infection. These results provide new insights into the dependence of HIV-1 infection and dissemination on the activation/differentiation of cervico-vaginal lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-290
Number of pages11
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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