Innate Immunity in the Vagina (Part II): Anti-HIV Activity and Antiviral Content of Human Vaginal Secretions
Version of Record online: 8 MAY 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 72, Issue 1, pages 22–33, July 2014
How to Cite
Innate immunity in the vagina (Part II): anti-HIV activity and antiviral content of human vaginal secretions. Am J Reprod Immunol 2014; 72: 22–33, , , , , .
- Issue online: 11 JUN 2014
- Version of Record online: 8 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 26 NOV 2012
- NIH. Grant Numbers: AI013541, AI102838, AI071761
- Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
- UAB Center for AIDS Research. Grant Number: P30-AI-27767
- human immunodeficiency virus;
- menstrual cycle;
- vaginal secretions
Whether the concentrations of antiviral proteins, and anti-HIV activity, within human vaginal secretions change across the menstrual cycle is unknown.
Method of study
Using a menstrual cup, vaginal secretions from pre-menopausal women were recovered at the proliferative (d6–8), mid-cycle (d13–15), and secretory (d21–23) stages of the menstrual cycle. Antiviral protein concentration was determined by ELISA, and anti-HIV activity assessed using the TZM-bl reporter cell line.
CCL20, RANTES, elafin, HBD2, SDF-1α, and IL-8 levels were detectable in the secretions. Vaginal secretions had anti-HIV activity against specific clade B strains of HIV, with significant inhibition of IIIB and increased infectivity of transmitted/founder CH077.t. No significant differences in either antiviral protein concentration or anti-HIV activity with respect to menstrual cycle stage were measured, but marked differences were observed in both parameters over the course of the cycle between different women and in consecutive cycles from the same woman.
The vagina contains a complement of antiviral proteins. The variation in anti-HIV activity demonstrates that immune protection in the vagina is not constant. Intra- and interindividual variations suggest that factors in addition to sex hormones influence antiviral protection. Lastly, the menstrual cup is a new model for recovering undiluted vaginal secretions from women throughout their reproductive life.