The Dual Role of Neutrophils in HIV Infection
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Purpose of Review
We summarize what is known about neutrophils in HIV infection, focusing on their potential roles in HIV protection, acquisition, and pathogenesis.
Recent studies have demonstrated that neutrophil-associated proteins and cytokines in genital tissue pre-infection associate with HIV acquisition. However, recent in vivo assessment of highly exposed seronegative individuals and in vitro studies of anti-HIV functions of neutrophils add to older literature evidence that neutrophils may be important in a protective response to HIV infection.
Neutrophils are important for containment of pathogens but can also contribute to tissue damage due to their release of reactive oxygen species, proteases, and other potentially harmful effector molecules. Overall, there is a clear evidence for both helpful and harmful roles of neutrophils in HIV acquisition and pathogenesis. Further study, particularly of tissue neutrophils, is needed to elucidate the kinetics, phenotype, and functionality of neutrophils in HIV infection to better understand this dichotomy.
KeywordsNeutrophils HIV mucosal dysfunction HIV infection Tissue damage Mucosal immunology HIV protection
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Tiffany Hensley-McBain and Nichole R. Klatt declare grants from National Institutes of Health.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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