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J Immunol. 2006 Nov 1;177(9):6405-14.

HIV and other lentiviral infections cause defects in neutrophil chemotaxis, recruitment, and cell structure: immunorestorative effects of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.

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Immunology Research Group, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


Patients with HIV infection exhibit deficits in bacterial and fungal clearance, and possibly depressed innate immunity. In this study, we observed that neutrophils from HIV-infected patients have a profound defect in chemotaxis in response to endogenous (IL-8) and bacterial (fMLP) chemoattractants, which was directly correlated with peripheral CD4(+) lymphocyte levels but not plasma viral load. A similar chemotactic defect was observed in the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) model of HIV infection. Intravital microscopy of FIV-infected animals revealed marked impairment in the in vivo recruitment of leukocytes; specifically integrin-dependent neutrophil adhesion and emigration induced by bacterial products. Treatment of FIV-infected animals with GM-CSF re-established both neutrophil recruitment (rolling, adhesion, and emigration) and in vitro chemotaxis to the levels seen in uninfected animals. This restoration of neutrophil responses was not due to GM-CSF-mediated priming. Rather, HIV and FIV infections resulted in defective neutrophil development, with an ensuing reduction in neutrophil granularity and chemotactic receptor expression. GM-CSF therapy restored neutrophil granularity, implying restoration of normal neutrophil development. Together, our findings underscore the fundamental defects in innate immunity caused by lentivirus infections, while also indicating that GM-CSF may be a potential immunorestorative therapy for HIV-infected patients.

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