Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor Expression and High-Risk HPV Infection in Anal Lesions of HIV-Positive Patients

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The aim of this study was to evaluate secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) expression in anal biopsies from HIV-positive (HIV+) individuals, and compare that to anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) diagnoses and human papillomavirus (HPV) status.


This is a cross-sectional study of a cohort of 54 HIV+ (31 males and 23 females) from an AIDS clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The study material consisted of anorectal tissue biopsies obtained from HIV+ subjects, which were used to construct tissue microarray paraffin blocks for immunohistochemical analysis of SLPI expression. Biopsies were evaluated by an expert pathologist and classified as low-grade AIN1, high-grade AIN2/3, or normal squamous epithelium. In addition, DNA from the biopsies was extracted and analyzed for the presence of low- or high-risk HPV DNA.


Histologically, normal squamous epithelium from the anorectal region showed strong positive SLPI staining in 17/20 (85%) samples. In comparison, 9/17 (53%) dysplastic squamous epithelial samples from AIN1 patients showed strong SLPI staining, and only 5/17 (29%) samples from AIN2/3 patients exhibited strong SPLI staining, which both were significantly fewer than those from normal tissue (P = 0.005). Furthermore, there was a significantly higher proportion of samples in which oncogenic high-risk HPV genotypes were detected in low SLPI-expressing tissues than that in tissues with high SLPI expression (P = 0.040).


Taken together these results suggest that low SLPI expression is associated with high-risk HPV infections in the development of AIN.

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