Increase in HIV receptors/co-receptors/α-defensins in inflamed human gingiva

R. Jotwani, M. Muthukuru, C. W. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Transmission of HIV-1 through the oral cavity is considered to be a rare event. To identify factors in resistance/susceptibility to oral HIV-1 infection, we analyzed expression in human gingiva of HIV-1 receptors Langerin, DC-SIGN, MR, and GalCer, HIV-1 co-receptors CCCR5, CXCR4, and anti-microbial protein α-defensin-1. Our results show that healthy gingiva is infiltrated with cells expressing all HIV-1 receptors tested; however, there are very few CCR5+ cells and a complete absence of CXCR4+ cells in the lamina propria. In chronic periodontitis (CP), DC-SIGN, MR, CXCR4, and CCR5 increase, but this was accompanied by a ten-fold increase in α-defensin-1 mRNA. The CCR5+ cells were revealed to be T-cells, macrophages, and dermal dendritic cells. Moreover, epithelial expression of GalCer and CXCR4 together was not apical and showed no trend with underlying inflammation. Thus, low expression of HIV-1 co-receptors in health and high expression of α-defensin during CP may comprise endogenous factors that provide protection from oral HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-377
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • CCR5
  • Co-receptor
  • Dendritic cells
  • Gingiva
  • HIV receptor
  • Human
  • α-defensin-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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