AIDS research and human retroviruses

Modulation of HIV-1-induced activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells by 6-desfluoroquinolones.

PMID 24229417


Chronic activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) is an important contributor to the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection. The quinolone derivative chloroquine (CQ) prevents endosomal acidification, required for toll-like receptor sensing of HIV by pDCs, and is currently under clinical trial as an immunotherapeutic approach. We tested three different 6-desfluoroquinolones (6-DFQs), structurally related to CQ and endowed with antiretroviral activity, for their ability to inhibit HIV-induced pDC activation and interferon (IFN)-α production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro. PBMCs from six healthy donors were cultured overnight with aldrithiol-2 (AT-2)-inactivated HIV-1MN in the presence or absence of 6-DFQs or CQ. IFN-α production was measured by ELISA; pDC and monocyte activation was analyzed by flow cytometry. Incubation with HIV labeled with the fluorescent dye DyLight-488 (DL488) was used to test virus uptake by flow cytometry. We found that the 6-DFQs effectively inhibited HIV-induced IFN-α similar to CQ, but only 6-DFQs also inhibited the upregulation of the pDC activation marker CD83. Interestingly, HIV-induced expression of the costimulatory molecule CD80 and, to a lesser extent CD86, was further enhanced on pDCs by 6-DFQs, but not CQ. Conversely, 6-DFQs and CQ had similar inhibitory effects on HIV-induced monocyte activation, consistent with the primary mechanism being associated with IFN-α signaling. Finally, 6-DFQs interfered with HIV interaction with pDCs and monocytes, but not myeloid DCs. Our data indicate that 6-DFQs may interfere with pDC-mediated and IFN-α-dependent immunopathogenesis while supporting pDC differentiation into mature antigen-presenting cells by favoring expression of costimulatory molecules.