Increased mucosal neutrophil survival is associated with altered microbiota in HIV infection

Tiffany Hensley-McBain, Michael C. Wu, Jennifer A. Manuzak, Ryan K. Cheu, Andrew Gustin, Connor B. Driscoll, Alexander S. Zevin, Charlene J. Miller, Ernesto Coronado, Elise Smith, Jean Chang, Michael Gale, Ma Somsouk, Adam D. Burgener, Peter W. Hunt, Thomas J. Hope, Ann C. Collier, Nichole R. Klatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal dysfunction predicts and likely contributes to non-infectious comorbidities and mortality in HIV infection and persists despite antiretroviral therapy. However, the mechanisms underlying this dysfunction remain incompletely understood. Neutrophils are important for containment of pathogens but can also contribute to tissue damage due to their release of reactive oxygen species and other potentially harmful effector molecules. Here we used a flow cytometry approach to investigate increased neutrophil lifespan as a mechanism for GI neutrophil accumulation in chronic, treated HIV infection and a potential role for gastrointestinal dysbiosis. We report that increased neutrophil survival contributes to neutrophil accumulation in colorectal biopsy tissue, thus implicating neutrophil lifespan as a new therapeutic target for mucosal inflammation in HIV infection. Additionally, we characterized the intestinal microbiome of colorectal biopsies using 16S rRNA sequencing. We found that a reduced Lactobacillus: Prevotella ratio associated with neutrophil survival, suggesting that intestinal bacteria may contribute to GI neutrophil accumulation in treated HIV infection. Finally, we provide evidence that Lactobacillus species uniquely decrease neutrophil survival and neutrophil frequency in vitro, which could have important therapeutic implications for reducing neutrophil-driven inflammation in HIV and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1007672
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Hensley-McBain et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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