Loss of growth factor receptor signaling in the oral mucosa during primary SIV infection may enhance apoptosis and promote pathogenesis

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Abstract

Background

The development of susceptibility to secondary pathogenic infections in the oral cavity during HIV infection is likely to result from or coincide with deterioration of the local mucosal immune system.

Methods

We have utilized the SIV model to investigate the kinetics and magnitude of oral pathogenesis during systemic dissemination of intravenously inoculated SIVmac251.

Results

Viral replication was detected in oropharyngeal lymph nodes at 6 weeks post-infection and shown to be coincident with a broad scale loss of growth factor receptor transcription in the oral mucosa, providing multiple avenues for blocking the normal activity of apoptosis inhibitors that function through Bcl2- and p53-dependent pathways.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that the normal balance between cell death and regeneration may be rapidly disrupted in the oral mucosa during the early stages of immunodeficiency virus infection, setting the stage for continuing deterioration of immune function and the development of susceptibility to secondary infections.

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