Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Infect Dis. 2009 Sep 15;200(6):965-72. doi: 10.1086/605412.

HIV type 1 infection in women: increased transcription of HIV type 1 in ectocervical tissue explants.

Author information

  • 1Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 215 N. Main Street, White River Junction, VT 05009, USA.



Mucosal surfaces of the female reproductive tract are the main routes of heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), but the contribution of each of the reproductive sites to mucosal transmission is unknown.


We compared levels of HIV-1 transcription between ectocervical and endometrial tissue explants infected ex vivo with HIV-1.


We detected higher levels of HIV-1 transcription in the ectocervix. Although CD45 expression was also increased at this site, higher levels of HIV-1 transcription could not be accounted for exclusively by differences in CD45 expression. This suggests that factors other than CD45 levels regulate HIV-1 transcription within the ectocervix. We detected higher levels of interleukin (IL)-6 at this site. Furthermore, addition of recombinant IL-6 to tissue explants enhanced HIV-1 transcription to a much greater degree in the ectocervix than in the endometrium.


This is, to our knowledge, the first study to compare ectocervix and endometrium in a tissue explant model of HIV-1 infection and to demonstrate greater HIV-1 transcription in the ectocervix. Our results suggest that the ectocervix is more conducive to HIV-1 replication than is the endometrium and that IL-6 enhances HIV-1 transcription at this site. Thus, the ectocervix is an important site to be considered in heterosexual transmission of HIV-1.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk