HIV infection damages the gut mucosa leading to chronic immune activation, increased morbidities and mortality, and antiretroviral therapies, do not completely ameliorate mucosal dysfunction. Understanding early molecular changes in acute infection may identify new biomarkers underlying gut dysfunction. Here we utilized a proteomics approach, coupled with flow cytometry, to characterize early molecular and immunological alterations during acute SIV infection in gut tissue of rhesus macaques. Gut tissue biopsies were obtained at 2 times pre-infection and 4 times post-infection from 6 macaques. The tissue proteome was analyzed by mass spectrometry, and immune cell populations in tissue and blood by flow cytometry. Significant proteome changes (p < 0.05) occurred at 3 days post-infection (dpi) (13.0%), 14 dpi (13.7%), 28 dpi (16.9%) and 63 dpi (14.8%). At 3 dpi, proteome changes included cellular structural activity, barrier integrity, and activation of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) (FDR < 0.0001) prior to the antiviral response at 14 dpi (IFNa/g pathways, p < 0.001). Novel EMT proteomic biomarkers (keratins 2, 6A and 20, collagen 12A1, desmoplakin) and inflammatory biomarkers (PSMB9, FGL2) were associated with early infection and barrier dysfunction. These findings identify new biomarkers preceding inflammation in SIV infection involved with EMT activation. This warrants further investigation of the role of these biomarkers in chronic infection, mucosal inflammation, and disease pathogenesis of HIV.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding support for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health Research (Klatt, Burgener: 1R01DK112254).
© 2023, The Author(s).
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural