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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2004 May;20(5):513-9.

Alcohol enhances HIV type 1 infection in normal human oral keratinocytes by up-regulating cell-surface CXCR4 coreceptor.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, California 90059, USA.


Recent studies suggest that normal human oral keratinocytes (NHOKs) can be infected by HIV-1, and alcohol can enhance HIV infection and replication in lymphocytes. In this study, we examined the possibility that alcohol might facilitate HIV-1 infection of NHOKs by up-regulating cell surface expression of the coreceptor, CXCR4. Alcohol enhanced in vitro infection of NHOKs by CXCR4-tropic strains of HIV-1 as indicated by synthesis of viral reverse transcripts and production of p24gag protein. Alcohol had no effect on CXCR4 gene expression or on total cellular complements of CXCR4 protein. However, alcohol did enhance the fraction of total CXCR4 expressed on the cell surface relative to intracellular stores. Alcohol-induced up-regulation of cell surface CXCR4 expression and HIV-1 infectivity could be blocked by SDF-1alpha-mediated internalization. These data suggest that alcohol may influence oral HIV transmission by altering the cellular compartmentalization of CXCR4 in cells of the oral cavity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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