Diastolic dysfunction is a highly prevalent cardiac abnormality in asymptomatic as well as ART-treated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. Although the mechanisms underlying depressed cardiac function remain obscure, diastolic dysfunction in SIV-infected rhesus macaques is highly correlated with myocardial viral load. As cardiomyocytes are not productively infected, damage may be an indirect process attributable to a combination of pro-inflammatory mediators and viral proteins. Given the diverse roles of CCR5 in mediating recruitment of leukocytes to inflammatory sites and serving as a receptor for HIV entry into cells, we investigated the role of CCR5 in the SIV/macaque model of diastolic dysfunction. We found that in SIV-infected macaques, CCR5 inhibition dramatically impacted myocardial viral load measured by qRT-PCR and prevented diastolic dysfunction measured by echocardiography. Complementary in vitro experiments using fluorescence microscopy showed that CCR5 ligands impaired contractile function of isolated cardiomyocytes, thus identifying CCR5 signaling as a novel mediator of impaired cardiac mechanical function. Together, these findings incriminate SIV/HIV gp120-CCR5 as well as chemokine-CCR5 interactions in HIV-associated cardiac dysfunction. These findings also have important implications for the treatment of HIV-infected individuals: in addition to antiviral properties and reduced chemokine-mediated recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells, CCR5 inhibition may provide a cardioprotective benefit by preventing cardiomyocyte CCR5 signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine