Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26349662
Mucosal Immunol 2016 May;9(3):634-46
Macrophages from the decidua basalis (dM), the main uterine mucosa during pregnancy, are weakly permissive to HIV-1 infection. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying this natural control. We show, by using freshly purified decidual macrophages and ex vivo human decidual explants, that the local decidual environment influences dM differentiation and naturally protects these cells from HIV-1 infection. Interferon (IFN)-γ, present in the decidual tissue, contributes to maintenance of the dM phenotype and restricts HIV-1 infection by mechanisms involving the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21Cip1/Waf1. We also found that activation of Toll-like receptors 7 and 8 expressed by dM reinforces the low permissivity of dM to HIV-1 by restricting viral replication and inducing secretion of cytokines in the decidual environment, including IFN-γ, that shape dM plasticity. A major challenge for HIV-1 eradication is to control infection of tissue-resident macrophages in the female reproductive tract. Our findings provide clues to the development of novel strategies to prevent HIV-1 macrophage infection.