Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect Dis. 2014 Mar 1;209(5):739-48. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit547. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Macrophages accumulate in the gut mucosa of untreated HIV-infected patients.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, and Rheumatology, Medical Clinic I, Campus Benjamin Franklin.



Mucosal macrophages are involved in the maintenance of epithelial barrier integrity and the elimination of invading pathogens. Although an intestinal barrier defect and microbial translocation are hallmarks of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, recent data on gut mucosal macrophages in HIV infection are sparse.


Treatment-naive and treated HIV-infected patients and healthy controls were studied for frequencies and functional parameters of blood monocytes and macrophages in duodenal mucosa.


We found mucosal enrichment of macrophages in untreated HIV infection associated with reduced monocyte counts in blood and increased monocyte expression of the gut-homing molecule integrin β7. Increased CCR2 density on integrin β7-expressing monocytes and mucosal secretion of CCL2 suggest that CCR2/CCL2-chemotaxis is involved in enhanced trafficking of blood monocytes to the gut. Secretion of macrophage-related proinflammatory molecules interleukin 1β, CCL5, CXCL9, and CXCL10 was increased in the gut mucosa of untreated patients. Moreover, mucosal macrophages of untreated patients showed reduced phagocytic activity.


These data suggest a role for gut mucosal macrophages in HIV immune pathogenesis: infiltrated macrophages in the intestinal mucosa may promote local inflammation and tissue injury, whereas their low phagocytic activity prevents the efficient elimination of luminal antigens that cross the damaged intestinal barrier.


HIV; HIV immune pathogenesis; gut mucosa; mucosal immune system; mucosal macrophages; phagocytosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center