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Viral Immunol. 2018 Apr;31(3):206-222. doi: 10.1089/vim.2017.0051. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Lung Vascular Remodeling, Cardiac Hypertrophy, and Inflammatory Cytokines in SHIVnef-Infected Macaques.

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1 Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus , Aurora, Colorado.
2 Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center , Lubbock, Texas.
3 Department of Virology and Immunology, and Southwest National Primate Research Center, Texas Biomedical Research Institute , San Antonio, Texas.
4 School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University , Arizona.
5 Department of Medicine, University of California , San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
6 Victoria Johnson Center for Obstructive Lung Diseases, Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond, Virginia.
7 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine , Tucson, Arizona.
8 New England Primate Research Center , Division of Comparative Pathology, Southborough, Massachusetts.
9 Center for Comparative Medicine, University of California , Davis, Davis, California.


Fatal pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) affects HIV-infected individuals at significantly higher frequencies. We previously showed plexiform-like lesions characterized by recanalized lumenal obliteration, intimal disruption, medial hypertrophy, and thrombosis consistent with PAH in rhesus macaques infected with chimeric SHIVnef but not with the parental SIVmac239, suggesting that Nef is implicated in the pathophysiology of HIV-PAH. However, the current literature on non-human primates as animal models for SIV(HIV)-associated pulmonary disease reports the ultimate pathogenic pulmonary outcomes of the research efforts; however, the variability and features in the actual disease progression remain poorly described, particularly when using different viral sources for infection. We analyzed lung histopathology, performed immunophenotyping of cells in plexogenic lesions pathognomonic of PAH, and measured cardiac hypertrophy biomarkers and cytokine expression in plasma and lung of juvenile SHIVnef-infected macaques. Here, we report significant hematopathologies, changes in cardiac biomarkers consistent with ventricular hypertrophy, significantly increased levels of interleukin-12 and GM-CSF and significantly decreased sCD40 L, CCL-2, and CXCL-1 in plasma of the SHIVnef group. Pathway analysis of inflammatory gene expression predicted activation of NF-κB transcription factor RelB and inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein type-2 in the setting of SHIVnef infection. Our findings highlight the utility of SHIVnef-infected macaques as suitable models of HIV-associated pulmonary vascular remodeling as pathogenetic changes are concordant with features of idiopathic, familial, scleroderma, and HIV-PAH.


SHIVnef; inflammation; pathogenesis; pulmonary vascular remodeling

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