HIV-specific mucosal and cellular immunity in HIV-seronegative partners of HIV-seropositive individuals

Sandra Mazzoli, Daria Trabattoni, Sergio Lo Caputo, Stefania Piconi, Claudio Blé, Francesca Meacci, Stefania Ruzzante, Alessanda Salvi, Francesca Semplici, Renato Longhi, Maria Luisa Fusi, Nadia Tofani, Mara Biasin, Maria Luisa Villa, Francesco Mazzotta, Mario Clerici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV-specific mucosal and cellular immunity was analyzed in heterosexual couples discordant for HIV status in serum and in HIV-unexposed controls. HIV-specific IgA but not IgG was present in urine and vaginal wash samples from HIV-exposed seronegative individuals (ESN), whereas both IgA and IgG were observed in their HIV-seropositive partners; antibodies were not detected in low-risk controls. Envelope protein (Env) peptide-stimulated interleukin-2 (L-2) production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was detected in 9 out of 16 ESNs, 5 out of 16 HIV-infected patients and 1 out of 50 controls. Env peptide-stimulated PBMCs of ESNs produced more IL-2 and less IL-10 compared with those of HIV-infected individuals; no differences were observed in chemokine production or in CCR5 expression. These data demonstrate that a compartmentalized immune response to pathogens is possible in humans and raise the possibility of protective roles for cell-mediated immunity and mucosal IgA in HIV-seronegative individuals exposed to HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250-1257
Number of pages8
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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