Immune Activation in the Female Genital Tract: Expression Profiles of Soluble Proteins in Women at High Risk for HIV Infection.

Francis, SC; Hou, Y; Baisley, K; van de Wijgert, J; Watson-Jones, D; Ao, TT; Herrera, C; Maganja, K; Andreasen, A; Kapiga, S; Coulton, GR; Hayes, RJ; Shattock, RJ; (2016) Immune Activation in the Female Genital Tract: Expression Profiles of Soluble Proteins in Women at High Risk for HIV Infection. PLoS One, 11 (1). e0143109. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI:

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: Soluble cervicovaginal biomarkers of inflammation, immune activation and risk of HIV acquisition are needed to reliably assess the safety of new biomedical prevention strategies including vaccines and microbicides. However, a fuller understanding of expression profiles in women at high risk for HIV infection is crucial to the effective use of these potential biomarkers in Phase 3 trial settings. We have measured 45 soluble proteins and peptides in cervicovaginal lavage samples from 100 HIV negative women at high risk for HIV infection. Women were followed over one menstrual cycle to investigate modulation by hormonal contraception, menstrual cycle phase, recent sexual exposure and intravaginal practices. Women using injectable DMPA had increased concentration of several soluble proteins of the innate and adaptive immune system, including IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, MIP-1β, IP-10, IL-8, TGF-β, HBD4, IgA, IgG1, and IgG2. Women using combined oral contraceptives had a similar signature. There were differences in concentrations among samples from post-ovulation compared to pre-ovulation, notably increased immunoglobulins. Increased prostate-specific antigen, indicative of recent sexual exposure, was correlated with increased IL-6, MCP-1, and SLPI, and decreased GM-CSF and HBD3. The identified signature profiles may prove critical in evaluating the potential safety and impact on risk of HIV acquisition of different biomedical intervention strategies.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: Tropical Epidemiology Group
PubMed ID: 26814891
Web of Science ID: 369528200001


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