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Nat Med. 2008 Apr;14(4):421-8. doi: 10.1038/nm1743. Epub 2008 Mar 23.

Simian immunodeficiency virus-induced mucosal interleukin-17 deficiency promotes Salmonella dissemination from the gut.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of California at Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8645, USA.


Salmonella typhimurium causes a localized enteric infection in immunocompetent individuals, whereas HIV-infected individuals develop a life-threatening bacteremia. Here we show that simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection results in depletion of T helper type 17 (TH17) cells in the ileal mucosa of rhesus macaques, thereby impairing mucosal barrier functions to S. typhimurium dissemination. In SIV-negative macaques, the gene expression profile induced by S. typhimurium in ligated ileal loops was dominated by TH17 responses, including the expression of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and IL-22. TH17 cells were markedly depleted in SIV-infected rhesus macaques, resulting in blunted TH17 responses to S. typhimurium infection and increased bacterial dissemination. IL-17 receptor-deficient mice showed increased systemic dissemination of S. typhimurium from the gut, suggesting that IL-17 deficiency causes defects in mucosal barrier function. We conclude that SIV infection impairs the IL-17 axis, an arm of the mucosal immune response preventing systemic microbial dissemination from the gastrointestinal tract.

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