Indexed on: 13 May '06Published on: 13 May '06Published in: Genes and Immunity
Perinatal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 represents a major problem in many regions of the world, especially Southern Africa. With the exception of viral and proviral load, the role for maternal cofactors in perinatal transmission outcome is largely unknown. In this study, an assessment was made of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) gene-expression profiles to better understand transcriptional changes associated with HIV-1 infection and perinatal transmission among young adult mothers with infants in Botswana. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells specimens were used from 25 HIV+ drug naive and 20 HIV- healthy mothers, similar in age and location, collected in 1999-2000 and 2003, and processed with the exact same methods, as previously described. Expression profiling of 22 277 microarray gene probes implicated a broad initiation of innate response gene-sets, including toll-like receptor, interferon-stimulated and antiviral RNA response pathways in association with maternal HIV-1 infection. Maternal transmission status was further associated with host genes that influence RNA processing and splicing patterns. In addition to real-time polymerase chain reaction validation of specific genes, enriched category validation of PBMC profiles was conducted using two independent data sets for either HIV-1 infection or an unrelated RNA virus, severe acute respiratory virus infection. HIV-1 pathogen-specific host profiles should prove a useful tool in infection and transmission intervention efforts worldwide.