HIV infection suppresses TLR3 activation-mediated antiviral immunity in microglia and macrophages.
AbstractMonocytic-lineage cells in the central nervous system (CNS), including microglia and brain resident macrophages, are the key players in the CNS innate immunity against viral infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, these cells also serve as the major targets and reservoirs for HIV in the CNS. To address the question of how HIV can establish persistent infection in the target cells in the CNS, we examined whether HIV has the ability to counteract Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) activation-mediated antiviral immunity in microglia and macrophages. We observed that HIV latently infected microglial cells (HC69·5) expressed reduced levels of TLR3 and TLR3 activation-mediated interferons (IFN-α/β and IFN-λ) as compared with the uninfected control cells (C20). In addition, HIV infection of primary human macrophages suppressed the expression of TLR3 and the IFNs. HIV infection also inhibited the expression of the antiviral IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and the HIV-restriction miRNAs. Mechanistically, HIV infection inhibited the phosphorylation of IFN regulatory factors (IRF3 and IRF7) and signal transducer and activator of transcription proteins (STAT1 and STAT3) in both HIV latently infected microglia and acutely infected macrophages. These findings provide previously unrecognized and sound mechanisms for HIV infection and persistence in the primary target and reservoir cells in the brain.