Background: In HIV-1 infected patients, production of interleukin-10 (IL-10), a highly immunosuppressive cytokine, is associated with progression of infection toward AIDS. HIV-1 Tat protein, by interacting with TLR4-MD2 at the membrane level, induces IL-10 production by primary human monocytes and macrophages. In the present study we evaluated the effect of the TLR4 antagonist Eritoran tetrasodium (E5564) on HIV-1 Tat-induced IL-10 production.
Findings: Here, we confirm that the recombinant HIV-1 Tat protein and the GST-Tat 1-45 fusion protein efficiently stimulate IL-10 production by primary monocytes and macrophages and that this stimulation is inhibited by blocking anti-TLR4 mAbs. We show that a similar inhibition is observed by preincubating the cells with the TLR4 antagonist E5564.
Conclusion: This study provides compelling data showing for the first time that the TLR4 antagonist E5564 inhibits the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10 production by primary human monocytes and macrophages incubated in the presence of HIV-1 Tat protein.