Inflammatory cytokine expression is correlated with the level of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transcripts in HIV-infected placental trophoblastic cells

Bang Ning Lee, Nelson Ordonez, Edwina J. Popek, Jian Guo Lu, Andrew Helfgott, Nancy Eriksen, Hunter Hammill, Claudia Kozinetz, Marilyn Doyle, Mark Kline, Claire Langston, William T. Shearer, James M. Reuben

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Abstract

The inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) have been associated with increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) expression and enhanced lymphocyte adhesion to trophoblastic cells in experimental systems. To determine if there is a correlation between the expression of these cytokines and the levels of HIV transcripts in trophoblasts of term placentas from HIV-infected women, we studied the placentae of 30 HIV-positive and 13 control gravidae. Twenty- three of the HIV-positive women received zidovudine (ZDV) as prophylaxis against HIV vertical transmission; only one of the seven women who did not receive ZDV was a transmitter, for an overall vertical transmission rate of 3.8%. Cytokine production was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the supernatants of trophoblastic cell cultures. Additionally, cytokine transcripts and HIV gag sequences were determined by a quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assay. In general, trophoblastic cells of HIV-positive placentas expressed significantly higher levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α than those of control placentas. All placentas from HIV-positive women expressed HIV gag transcripts at either a low (<156 copies per μg of total RNA) or a high (>156 copies per μg of total RNA) level. There was a statistically significant positive association between the basal level of TNF-α production and the level of HIV gag transcripts of HIV-positive placental trophoblastic cells. Nevertheless, these data, coupled with a low transmission rate, would indicate that some other factors, perhaps working in concert with cytokines, are necessary for vertical transmission of HIV from mother to infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3628-3635
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume71
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Lee, B. N., Ordonez, N., Popek, E. J., Lu, J. G., Helfgott, A., Eriksen, N., ... Reuben, J. M. (1997). Inflammatory cytokine expression is correlated with the level of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transcripts in HIV-infected placental trophoblastic cells. Journal of Virology, 71(5), 3628-3635.