Disruption of the mucosal epithelium during lentivirus infections permits translocation of microbial products into circulation, causing immune activation and driving disease. Although the liver directly filters blood from the intestine and is the first line of defense against gut-derived antigens, the effects of microbial products on the liver are unclear. In livers of normal macaques, minute levels of bacterial products were detectable, but increased 20-fold in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected animals. Increased microbial products in the liver induced production of the chemoattractant CXCL16 by myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), causing subsequent recruitment of hypercytotoxic natural killer (NK) cells expressing the CXCL16 receptor, CXCR6. Microbial accumulation, mDC activation, and cytotoxic NK cell frequencies were significantly correlated with markers of liver damage, and SIV-infected animals consistently had evidence of hepatitis and fibrosis. Collectively, these data indicate that SIV-associated accumulation of microbial products in the liver initiates a cascade of innate immune activation, resulting in liver damage.
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- Chemokines, CXC/genetics
- Gene Expression Regulation
- Hepatitis, Animal/etiology
- Killer Cells, Natural/physiology
- Macaca mulatta
- Myeloid Cells/physiology
- Receptors, CXCR/genetics
- Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/complications
- Simian Immunodeficiency Virus
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't