4 years ago

Dysregulation in genital tract soluble immune mediators in postmenopausal women is distinct by HIV status.

Mimi Ghosh, Mariel Jais, Josie Delisle, Naji Younes, Ifeyinwa Benyeogor, Roshni Biswas, Hani Mohamed, Jason Daniels, Cuiwei Wang, Mary Young, Seble Kassaye
A rise in new HIV diagnoses among older adults is characterized by poor prognosis and reduced survival times. Although heterosexual transmission remains the main route of infection in women, little is known regarding immune functions in the genital tract of postmenopausal women, especially those who are HIV-positive. Further, effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the genital tract immune system is unclear. Using the Women's Interagency HIV Study repository, we obtained cervical-vaginal lavage (CVL) samples from premenopausal and postmenopausal HIV-positive and HIV-negative women, some of whom were on HRT. Samples were assayed for IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), Elafin, Human beta defensin-2 (HBD2), and MIP-3α using ELISA. Anti-HIV activity in CVL was measured using TZM-bl indicator cells. Among HIV-positive women, plasma viral load was significantly higher and CD4 count was significantly lower in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women, irrespective of HIV status, had significantly lower levels of HBD2 compared to premenopausal women. Among the HIV-negative individuals, postmenopausal women had significantly lower levels of MIP-3α, IL-6 and SLPI compared to premenopausal women. In contrast, HIV-positive postmenopausal women had significantly higher levels of TNF-α compared to premenopausal HIV-positive women. In most cases, HRT groups resembled the postmenopausal groups. No significant differences in anti-HIV activity by menopausal or by HIV status were noted. Our findings indicate that the FGT immune microenvironment is distinct by menopausal and by HIV status. Further studies are needed to assess risk of HIV acquisition/transmission in this population.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1089/AID.2018.0234

DOI: 10.1089/AID.2018.0234

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