Article

Tryptophan catabolism by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 alters the balance of TH17 to regulatory T cells in HIV disease.

Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
Science translational medicine (Impact Factor: 14.41). 05/2010; 2(32):32ra36. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000632
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The pathogenesis of human and simian immunodeficiency viruses is characterized by CD4(+) T cell depletion and chronic T cell activation, leading ultimately to AIDS. CD4(+) T helper (T(H)) cells provide protective immunity and immune regulation through different immune cell functional subsets, including T(H)1, T(H)2, T regulatory (T(reg)), and interleukin-17 (IL-17)-secreting T(H)17 cells. Because IL-17 can enhance host defenses against microbial agents, thus maintaining the integrity of the mucosal barrier, loss of T(H)17 cells may foster microbial translocation and sustained inflammation. Here, we study HIV-seropositive subjects and find that progressive disease is associated with the loss of T(H)17 cells and a reciprocal increase in the fraction of the immunosuppressive T(reg) cells both in peripheral blood and in rectosigmoid biopsies. The loss of T(H)17/T(reg) balance is associated with induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) by myeloid antigen-presenting dendritic cells and with increased plasma concentration of microbial products. In vitro, the loss of T(H)17/T(reg) balance is mediated directly by the proximal tryptophan catabolite from IDO metabolism, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid. We postulate that induction of IDO may represent a critical initiating event that results in inversion of the T(H)17/T(reg) balance and in the consequent maintenance of a chronic inflammatory state in progressive HIV disease.

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