Impact of fibronectin fragments on the transendothelial migration of HIV-infected leukocytes and the development of subendothelial foci of infectious leukocytes

J Immunol. 2004 Aug 15;173(4):2746-54. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.173.4.2746.


Leukocyte infiltrates that can serve as viral reservoirs, and sites for viral replication are found in many organs of HIV-1-infected patients. Patients whose blood leukocytes migrate across confluent endothelial monolayers ex vivo and transmit infectious virus to mononuclear leukocytes (MNLs) lodged beneath this endothelial barrier have a worse prognosis. We evaluated the ability of 110- to 120-kDa fibronectin fragments (FNf), which are found in the blood of >60% of HIV-1-infected patients, to stimulate transendothelial migration and drive productively infected MNLs into a potential perivascular space. FNf induced MNLs to release TNF-alpha in a dose-dependent fashion; the resulting increase in lymphocyte and monocyte transendothelial migration could be blocked with soluble TNF receptor I. Rather than penetrate deeply into the subendothelial matrix, as is seen with untreated controls, FNf-treated MNLs clustered just below the endothelial monolayer. Treatment with FNf during migration increased subsequent recovery of HIV-infected cells from the subendothelial compartment. FNf treatment also significantly increased the numbers of HLA-DR(bright), dendritic-type cells that reverse-migrated from the subendothelial depot to the apical endothelial surface 48 h after migration. Fibronectin fragments can be produced by viral and host proteases in the course of inflammatory conditions. The ability of FNf to stimulate transendothelial migration of HIV-1-infected MNLs may help to explain the dissemination of this infection into cardiac, renal, and CNS tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects*
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology*
  • Fibronectins / pharmacology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / virology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / drug effects


  • Fibronectins
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Peptides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha