Interferon alpha (IFNalpha) is a type I interferon that plays a major role in host defense. There are 13 different IFNalpha genes in humans, but much of the work concerning their role in viral defense has been limited to studying either subtype 2 or pan IFNalpha due to the inability to distinguish between highly similar genetic and amino acid sequences. Because of recent advances in molecular and biochemical techniques, it is possible to study the regulation of individual subtypes. It has been reported that HIV/SIV infection results in impaired IFNalpha responses in certain tissues. Using a pigtailed macaque SIV model, we examined the subtype response during acute infection in 3 tissues that are known to be infected with HIV/SIV, but whose IFNalpha subtype response has not been extensively studied: the brain, spleen, and lung. We found that the expression and regulation of specific subtypes occur in a tissue-specific manner. There was more limited IFNalpha subtype expression in the lung and brain, where predominantly macrophages are infected compared to the spleen, which contains both infected CD4+ lymphocytes and macrophages. Understanding the IFNalpha subtype response in tissues known to be infected with HIV/SIV can help tailor adjunctive treatment regimens to highly active antiretroviral therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology