Upregulation of interferon-α and RANTES in the cervix of HIV-1-seronegative women with high-risk behavior

Taha Hirbod, Jakob Nilsson, Sonia Andersson, Caterina Uberti-Foppa, Davide Ferrari, Mara Manghi, Jan Andersson, Lucia Lopalco, Kristina Broliden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The expression of innate immune molecules associated with potential blocking activity of HIV-1 propagation was analyzed in the cervical tissue of a group of African HIV-1 IgG-negative commercial sex workers (CSWs) with an HIV-1-encountering risk behavior. METHODS: Cervical biopsies from the superior portion of the ectocervix were assessed for innate immune molecules and evaluated in situ by computerized image analysis at the single-cell level. RESULTS: A higher expression of interferon-α (IFNα) and RANTES was detected in CSWs and HIV-1-infected individuals as compared to low-risk HIV-1-uninfected controls (Neg Ctrls). Most (>90%) of RANTES-expressing cells were CD8 cells as determined by confocal microscopy. In contrast, the expression of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) was comparable between the groups. The expression of β-defensin 2 was highest in HIV-1-infected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Induction of IFNα and RANTES expression in cervical mucosa may contribute to protection of sexual HIV-1 transmission in subjects with a higher risk behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Cervix
  • HIV-1
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Immunology


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