Susceptibility of human seminal vesicles to HIV-1 infection
C. Deléage1, H. Denis1, N. Rioux-Leclercq2, A. Ruffault3, B. Jégou1, N. Dejucq-Rainsford1
1INSERM U625, Rennes, France, 2Anathomo-pathology, Rennes University Hospital, Rennes, France, 3Retrovirology, Rennes University Hospital, Rennes, France
represents the main vector for HIV dissemination worldwide. Even when HAART
achieves undetectable viral load in the blood, semen can still harbor
replication competent virus. Therefore, it is essential to determine the origin
of HIV in the seminal plasma and assess whether the male genital tract is
responsible for local production. The seminal vesicles (SV) may represent an
important contributor to HIV shedding in semen as their secretions represents
60% of the seminal fluid. This study is the first to investigate the ability of
human SV to support HIV infection.
Methods: Normal human SV were obtained from HIV-negative men. An organotypic culture was
developed and characterized by histological examination, MTT assay, in situ detection of cell specific
markers as well as real time PCR quantification of cell specific mRNAs. Potential immune target cells were quantified
and SV explants were exposed to R5 (SF-162) HIV-1 strains for 3h at 37°C. HIV infection was
detected by RT activity measure in culture supernatants and HIV DNA
quantification. The infectiosity of produced virions was evaluated on PBMC.
SV in culture display preserved tissue architecture and maintenance of all
cell types for 15 days. Potential immune target cells in this organ consist
mainly of CD68+ myeloid cells, whilst very few CD4+ T lymphocytes are observed.
Following exposure to HIV-1 R5, a 10 fold increase in HIV DNA was observed in the
SV from 3 donors between day 7 and day 15. Increased RT activity was measured
in the culture supernatants. Day 15 supernatants of HIV infected SV led to
productive infection of PBMC.
demonstrated for the first time that human seminal vesicles can support HIV
infection in vitro and therefore
could contribute virus to semen. The
infection of seminal vesicles from asymptomatic HIV+ men is currently being
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