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By Martin Hyrcza, Mario Ostrowski and Sandy Der


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are innate immune cells able to produce large quantities of type I interferons (IFN) when activated. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients show generalized immune dysfunction characterized in part by chronic interferon response. In this study we investigated the role of dendritic cells inactivating and maintaining this response. Specifically we compared the IFN geneactivity in pDCs in response to several viruses and TLR agonists. We hypothesized that 1) the pattern of IFN gene transcription would differ in pDCs treated with HIV than with other agents, and 2) that pDCs from patients from different stages of disease would respond differently to the stimulations. To test these hypotheses, we obtained pDCs from 15 HIV-infected and uninfected individuals and treated freshly isolated pDCs with either HIV (BAL strain), influenza virus (A/PR/8/34), Sendai virus (Cantell strain), TLR7 agonist(imiquimod), or TLR9 agonist (CpG-ODN) for 6h. Type I IFN gene transcription was monitored by real time qPCRfor IFNA1, A2, A5, A6, A8,A17, B1, and E1, and cytokine levels were assayed by Cytometric Bead Arrays forTNF?, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL1?, and IL12p70. pDC function as determined by these two assays showed no difference between HIV-infected and uninfected patients or between patients with early or chronic infection. Specifically, HIV did notinduce type I IFN gene expression, whereas influenza virus, Sendai virus and imiquimod did. Similarly, HIV failed to induce any cytokine release from pDCs in contrast to influenza virus, Sendai virus and imiquimod, which stimulatedrelease of TNF?, IL6, or IL8. Together these results suggest that the reaction of pDCs to HIV virus is quantitatively different from the response to agents such as virus, Sendai virus, and imiquimod. In addition, pDCs from HIV-infected persons have responses similar to pDCs from uninfected donors, suggesting, that the DC function may not be affected by HIV infection

Publisher: Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.25011/cim.v31i4.4808
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