Our earlier studies with pig-tailed macaques demonstrated various simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) susceptibilities during the menstrual cycle, likely caused by cyclic variations in immune responses in the female genital tract. There is concern that high-dose, long-lasting, injectable progestin-based contraception could mimic the high-progesterone luteal phase and predispose women to human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) acquisition and transmission. In this study, we adopted a systems biology approach employing proteomics (tandem mass spectrometry), transcriptomics (RNA microarray hybridization), and other specific protein assays (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and multiplex chemokine and cytokine measurements) to characterize the effects of hormonal changes on the expression of innate factors and secreted proteins in the macaque vagina. Several antiviral factors and pathways (including acute-phase response signaling and complement system) were overexpressed in the follicular phase. Conversely, during the luteal phase there were factors overexpressed (including moesins, syndecans, and integrins, among others) that could play direct or indirect roles in enhancing HIV-1 infection. Thus, our study showed that specific pathways and proteins or genes might work in tandem to regulate innate immunity, thus fostering further investigation and future design of approaches to help counter HIV-1 acquisition in the female genital tract.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science