Pulmonary disorders are the most frequent cause of death in HIV-1-infected individuals with AIDS and remain important even in the current era of potent antiretroviral therapy. Macaques infected with Simian/Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SHIV) develop pulmonary disease and concurrent opportunistic infections similar to those observed in HIV-infected individuals, thereby providing an excellent working model to elucidate the pathogenesis of the human lung disease. Since chemokines play a crucial role in the recruitment of inflammatory cells to tissues, we investigated the relationship between respiratory disease and the levels of chemokines, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and CXCL10, in the lungs of SHIV-infected rhesus macaques. We found that lung pathology in infected macaques was closely associated with overexpression of MCP-1 and CXCL10. In addition, these chemokines could, in part, be responsible for the recruitment of inflammatory cells infiltrating into the diseased lungs as demonstrated by chemotactic assays. Lung pathology and increased levels of MCP-1 and CXCL10 correlated with high viral loads in the lung parenchyma. Using confocal microscopy, we identified SHIV-infected macrophages as the major producers of MCP-1 and CXCL10 in the diseased lungs. These data suggest that chemokine overexpression plays an important role in the pathogenesis of SHIV-associated pulmonary disease in macaques.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine