Spermatozoa capture HIV-1 through heparan sulfate and efficiently transmit the virus to dendritic cells

Ana Ceballos, Federico Remes Lenicov, Juan Sabatté, Christian Rodríguez Rodrígues, Mercedes Cabrini, Carolina Jancic, Silvina Raiden, Mónica Donaldson, Rodolfo Agustín Pasqualini, Clara Marin-Briggiler, Mónica Vazquez-Levin, Francisco Capani (+2 others)
2009 Journal of Cell Biology  
Semen is the main vector for HIV-1 dissemination worldwide. It contains three major sources of infectious virus: free virions, infected leukocytes, and spermatozoa-associated virions. We focused on the interaction of HIV-1 with human spermatozoa and dendritic cells (DCs). We report that heparan sulfate is expressed in spermatozoa and plays an important role in the capture of HIV-1. Spermatozoa-attached virus is effi ciently transmitted to DCs, macrophages, and T cells. Interaction of
more » ... ction of spermatozoa with DCs not only leads to the transmission of HIV-1 and the internalization of the spermatozoa but also results in the phenotypic maturation of DCs and the production of IL-10 but not IL-12p70. At low values of extracellular pH ( ‫ف‬ 6.5 pH units), similar to those found in the vaginal mucosa after sexual intercourse, the binding of HIV-1 to the spermatozoa and the consequent transmission of HIV-1 to DCs were strongly enhanced. Our observations support the notion that far from being a passive carrier, spermatozoa acting in concert with DCs might affect the early course of sexual transmission of HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1083/jcb1873oia5 fatcat:fu2iupr47bc43ffzby3frojvhm