1887

Abstract

The human placenta is relatively resistant to (HIV-1), but obstetric complications associated with inflammatory processes, including chorioamnionitis and spontaneous preterm delivery, are associated with increased rates of vertical transmission. It was hypothesized that the pro-inflammatory mediator tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-), which promotes HIV-1 transmission across endothelial membranes, increases HIV-1 transmission across the placenta. Flow cytometry and immunostaining studies were performed, which demonstrated that the HIV-1 receptors CD4, CCR5 and CXCR4 were not expressed by villous trophoblast cells. Consequently, primary villous trophoblast cells were not infected with cell-free HIV-1 isolates, as measured by PCR and quantitative PCR, but villous trophoblast cells were infected by HIV-1-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). HIV-1 from infected PBMC was rapidly transported across confluent transformed trophoblast cell monolayers by transcytosis, and TNF- significantly upregulated transcytosis of HIV-1 across the trophoblast layer without disrupting cell viability or confluency. Inhibitors of TNF- (antibodies against TNF- and TNF- receptors) and an anti-inflammatory drug (tenidap) significantly reduced transcytosis rates. It was concluded that the villous trophoblast is resistant to infection by cell-free HIV-1 but susceptible to transcytosis of HIV-1 from infected PBMC, and inflammatory mediators such as TNF- may play a critical role in promoting maternal–fetal transmission of HIV-1.

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2006-08-01
2021-04-10
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