Research Summary: Differential Response of Primary and Immortalized CD4+ T Cells to Neisseria gonorrhoeae-Induced Cytokines Determines the Effect on HIV-1 Replication


To compare the effect of gonococcal co-infection on immortalized versus primary CD4+ T cells the Jurkat cell line or freshly isolated human CD4+ T cells were infected with the HIV-1 X4 strain NL4-3. These cells were exposed to whole gonococci, supernatants from gonococcal-infected PBMCs, or N. gonorrhoeae-induced cytokines at varying levels. Supernatants from gonococcal-infected PBMCs stimulated HIV-1 replication in Jurkat cells while effectively inhibiting HIV-1 replication in primary CD4+ T cells. ELISA-based analyses revealed that the gonococcal-induced supernatants contained high levels of proinflammatory cytokines that promote HIV-1 replication, as well as the HIV-inhibitory IFNα. While all the T cells responded to the HIV-stimulatory cytokines, albeit to differing degrees, the Jurkat cells were refractory to IFNα. Combined, these results indicate that N. gonorrhoeae elicits immune-modulating cytokines that both activate and inhibit HIV-production; the outcome of co-infection depending upon the balance between these opposing signals.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 22-April-2011

Author(s): Dobson-Belaire W., Cochrane A., Ostrowski M., Gray-Owen S.


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