HIV-1 promotes intake of Leishmania parasites by enhancing phosphatidylserine-mediated, CD91/LRP-1-dependent phagocytosis in human macrophages.

Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-CHUL, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 03/2012; 7(3):e32761. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032761
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Over the past decade, the number of reported human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1)/Leishmania co-infections has risen dramatically, particularly in regions where both diseases are endemic. Although it is known that HIV-1 infection leads to an increase in susceptibility to Leishmania infection and leishmaniasis relapse, little remains known on how HIV-1 contributes to Leishmania parasitaemia. Both pathogens infect human macrophages, and the intracellular growth of Leishmania is increased by HIV-1 in co-infected cultures. We now report that uninfected bystander cells, not macrophages productively infected with HIV-1, account for enhanced phagocytosis and higher multiplication of Leishmania parasites. This effect can be driven by HIV-1 Tat protein and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). Furthermore, we show for the first time that HIV-1 infection increases surface expression of phosphatidylserine receptor CD91/LRP-1 on human macrophages, thereby leading to a Leishmania uptake by uninfected bystander cells in HIV-1-infected macrophage populations. The more important internalization of parasites is due to interactions between the scavenger receptor CD91/LRP-1 and phosphatidylserine residues exposed at the surface of Leishmania. We determined also that enhanced CD91/LRP-1 surface expression occurs rapidly following HIV-1 infection, and is triggered by the activation of extracellular TGF-β. Thus, these results establish an intricate link between HIV-1 infection, Tat, surface CD91/LRP-1, TGF-β, and enhanced Leishmania phosphatidylserine-mediated phagocytosis.

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