Native CGRP Neuropeptide and Its Stable Analogue SAX, But Not CGRP Peptide Fragments, Inhibit Mucosal HIV-1 Transmission
DOI for this manuscript is: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.785072 Published in 2021 by Lucia Lopalco et al. We tested the capacity of CGRP to inhibit HIV-1 infection in-vivo in humanized mice. We further compared the anti-HIV-1 activities of full-length native CGRP, its metabolically stable analogue SAX, and several CGRP peptide fragments containing its binding C-terminal and activating N-terminal regions. These agonists were evaluated for their capacity to inhibit LCs-mediated HIV-1 trans-infection in-vitro and mucosal HIV-1 transmission in human mucosal tissues ex-vivo. A single CGRP intravaginal topical treatment of humanized mice, followed by HIV-1 vaginal challenge, transiently restricts the increase in HIV-1 plasma viral loads but maintains long-lasting higher CD4+ T-cell counts. Similarly to CGRP, SAX inhibits LCsmediated HIV-1 trans-infection in-vitro, but with lower potency. This inhibition is mediated via CGRP receptor activation, leading to increased expression of both langerin and STAT4 in LCs. In contrast, several N-terminal and N+C-terminal bivalent CGRP peptide fragments fail to increase langerin and STAT4, and accordingly lack anti-HIV-1 activities. Finally, like CGRP, treatment of human inner foreskin tissue explants with SAX, followed by polarized inoculation with cell-associated HIV-1, completely blocks formation of LC-T-cell conjugates and HIV-1 infection of T-cells. Raw data corresponding to: Kinetics of CD4 and FACS, ex vivo experiments SAX and LCT, FACS for langerin and WB analysis are attached here.