Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 90–98 | Cite as

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

  • Julie Lajoie
  • Johanne Poudrier
  • Marguerite Massinga Loembe
  • Fernand Guédou
  • François Leblond
  • Annie-Claude Labbé
  • Michel Alary
  • Michel RogerEmail author



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.


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.


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.


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.


Africa chemokine female genital tract HIV immunity mucosal and systemic 



This work was supported by grant HOP-79213 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and by the Réseau SIDA from the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ). Julie Lajoie and Marguerite Massinga Loembe hold Student Research awards from the CIHR. Marguerite Massinga Loembe additionally held a fellowship from the AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie). Michel Alary and Michel Roger are recipients of Research Scholar awards from the FRSQ. We are indebted to Nassirou Geraldo, Aina Gabin, Carmelle Assogba and Clémence Agossa-Gbenafa for their clinical expertise, to Gérard Ahotin, Laurette Djossou and Ella Goma for their technical assistance and to Georges Batona and other field workers who helped with recruitment of CSWs.

Authors' contribution

M. Roger is the lead investigator of this study and with J. Lajoie and J. Poudrier, designed the experiments, performed the analysis and wrote the manuscript. J. Lajoie performed the experiments. M. Massinga Loembe, A-C Labbé, F. Guédou and M. Alary were responsible for the participants' recruitment and provided clinical and laboratory data. M. Massinga Loembe and F Leblond were responsible for the sample processing and data collection. All authors edited and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Lajoie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johanne Poudrier
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marguerite Massinga Loembe
    • 3
    • 4
  • Fernand Guédou
    • 4
  • François Leblond
    • 5
  • Annie-Claude Labbé
    • 5
  • Michel Alary
    • 4
  • Michel Roger
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’immunogénétiqueCentre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM)MontrealCanada
  2. 2.Département de Microbiologie et ImmunologieHôpital Notre-Dame du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)MontréalCanada
  3. 3.Laboratory of ImmunologyInstitute of Tropical MedicineAntwerpBelgium
  4. 4.Unité de Recherche en Santé des PopulationsCentre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec and Université LavalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.Département de Microbiologie de l’hôpital Maisonneuve-RosemontMontréalCanada

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