Interaction between chronically HIV-infected promonocytic cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells: Role of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in viral expression modulation

M. O. Borghi, P. Panzeri, R. Shattock, S. Sozzani, A. Dobrina, P. L. Meroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


HIV type 1 expression was significantly up-regulated in chronically infected promonocytic cell line (U1) co-cultured with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Virus replication, evaluated as supernatant p24 release, was higher when U1 were co-cultured with IL-1β-activated HUVEC than with unstimulated HUVEC. When non-adherent U1 were removed from co-cultures, the remaining U1 Cells adherent to the endothelial monolayer still showed enhanced HIV replication in comparison with an equal number of U1 cultured alone. While addition of adhesion molecule blocking antibodies (anti- intercellular adhesion molecule- 1 (ICAM-1), -vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), -CD18 and -very late antigen-4 (VLA-4)) strongly inhibited adherence of U1 cells to endothelial monolayers, such treatment resulted in only a partial reduction in p24 release. Furthermore, HIV replication in U1 cells was enhanced on culture in HUVEC-conditioned media. Such data suggest that soluble mediators secreted by endothelial monolayers may modulate HIV-1 expression. Indeed, addition of cytokine and chemokine antagonists to both U1/HUVEC co-cultures and to U1 cultured in HUVEC- conditioned media clearly down-regulated p24 release. Anti-IL-6, anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and, particularly, anti-MCP-1 MoAbs reduced p24 release, while anti-IL-8 polyclonal antiserum and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) had no significant effect. Thus, the interaction between HUVEC and infected monocytic cells up-regulates HIV-1 replication predominantly through production of endothelium-derived soluble factors including MCP-1, TNF-α and IL-6. This phenomenon may influence the passage of HIV-1 from latency to productive replication and enhance virus spreading during physiological and/or pathological contact of monocytes with endothelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Endothelial cells
  • HIV
  • Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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