, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 90-98
Date: 07 Nov 2009

Chemokine Expression Patterns in the Systemic and Genital Tract Compartments are Associated with HIV-1 Infection in Women from Benin

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Abstract

Introduction

Understanding the genital mucosal immunity and the factors involved in linking innate to adaptive immunity is crucial for the design of efficient preventive strategies against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1.

Methods

Levels of both genital mucosal and blood chemokines were compared between 58 HIV-1-uninfected and 50 HIV-1-infected female commercial sex workers (CSWs) as well as 53 HIV-1-uninfected non-CSW control women at low risk for exposure, recruited in Cotonou, Benin.

Results

HIV-1-infected CSWs had significantly higher blood and genital levels of monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP-3/CCL7) and monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG/CXCL9) compared with those in both the HIV-1-uninfected CSW and non-CSW groups. In the HIV-1-infected group, levels of MCP-3 and MIG were significantly higher in the genital mucosa than in the blood. However, the blood levels of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1a/CCL3) and MIP-1b/CCL4 were higher in HIV-1-uninfected CSWs compared with those in the other groups.

Conclusion

Increased production of chemokines in the genital tract may favour the recruitment of HIV-1 target cells causing a mucosal environment that promotes viral replication and dissemination, whereas higher expression of β-chemokines at the systemic level is associated with protection from HIV-1 infection.