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Berg R.K.,Aarhus University Hospital | Rahbek S.H.,University of Aarhus | Rahbek S.H.,Aarhus Research Center for Innate Immunology | Kofod-Olsen E.,Aarhus University Hospital | And 16 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

HIV infects key cell types of the immune system, most notably macrophages and CD4+ T cells. Whereas macrophages represent an important viral reservoir, activated CD4+ T cells are the most permissive cell types supporting high levels of viral replication. In recent years, it has been appreciated that the innate immune system plays an important role in controlling HIV replication, e.g. via interferon (IFN)-inducible restriction factors. Moreover, innate immune responses are involved in driving chronic immune activation and the pathogenesis of progressive immunodeficiency. Several pattern recognition receptors detecting HIV have been reported, including Toll-like receptor 7 and Retinoic-inducible gene-I, which detects viral RNA. Here we report that human primary T cells fail to induce strong IFN responses, despite the fact that this cell type does express key molecules involved in DNA signaling pathways. We demonstrate that the DNA sensor IFI16 migrates to sites of foreign DNA localization in the cytoplasm and recruits the signaling molecules stimulator of IFN genes and Tank-binding kinase, but this does not result in expression of IFN and IFN-stimulated genes. Importantly, we show that cytosolic DNA fails to affect HIV replication. However, exogenous treatment of activated T cells with type I IFN has the capacity to induce expression of IFN-stimulated genes and suppress HIV replication. Our data suggest the existence of an impaired DNA signaling machinery in T cells, which may prevent this cell type from activating cell-autonomous anti-HIV responses. This phenomenon could contribute to the high permissiveness of CD4+ T cells for HIV-1. © 2014 Berg et al.

Nissen S.K.,Aarhus University Hospital | Hojen J.F.,Aarhus University Hospital | Andersen K.L.D.,Aarhus University Hospital | Kofod-Olsen E.,Aarhus University Hospital | And 9 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Immunology | Year: 2014

The innate immune system has been recognized to play a role in the pathogenesis of HIV infection, both by stimulating protective activities and through a contribution to chronic immune activation, the development of immunodeficiency and progression to AIDS. A role for DNA sensors in HIV recognition has been suggested recently, and the aim of the present study was to describe the influence of HIV infection on expression and function of intracellular DNA sensing. Here we demonstrate impaired expression of interferon-stimulated genes in responses to DNA in peripheral blood monuclear cells from HIV-positive individuals, irrespective of whether patients receive anti-retroviral treatment. Furthermore, we show that expression levels of the DNA sensors interferon-inducible protein 16 (IFI16) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate synthase were increased in treatment-naive patients, and for IFI16 expression was correlated with high viral load and low CD4 cell count. Finally, our data demonstrate a correlation between IFI16 and CD38 expression, a marker of immune activation, in CD4+ central and effector memory T cells, which may indicate that IFI16-mediated DNA sensing and signalling contributes to chronic immune activation. Altogether, the present study demonstrates abnormal expression and function of cytosolic DNA sensors in HIV patients, which may have implications for control of opportunistic infections, chronic immune activation and T cell death. © 2014 British Society for Immunology.

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