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

Caroline M. Royle, Ming Han Tsai, Oriana Tabarrini, Serena Massari, David R. Graham, Veronica N. Aquino, Adriano Boasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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