We wished to determine the effects of the β-chemokine RANTES in an established system of cell-mediated transmission of HIV-1, that is, normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) nonproductively infected with HIV-1, cocultivated with CD4+ T cells to rescue productive infection. The results indicate that the addition of RANTES to HUVEC, either before or after HIV-1 infection, stimulates HIV-1 rescue by CD4+ T cells. However, viral DNA is not increased in HUVEC, suggesting that the stimulation exerted by RANTES could be mediated by events following HUVEC infection. The mechanisms of increase seem to be related to the rescue phase, involving membrane interaction of abortively infected HUVEC with permissive T cells. In fact, a strong upregulation and polarization of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is induced in HUVEC by RANTES, and antibodies against ICAM-1 inhibit HIV-1 rescue by T cells. These results indicate that RANTES, similarly to other inflammatory cytokines, may favor HIV-1 spreading and crossing of blood-tissue barriers by indirect mechanisms involving membrane interactions between nonproductively infected and permissive cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology