Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are involved in the pathogenesis of many infectious diseases, yet their dynamics and impact on HIV/SIV infection have not yet been assessed. We hypothesized that SIV infection and the related microbial translocation trigger NET activation and release (NETosis), and we investigated the interactions between NETs and immune cell populations and platelets. We compared and contrasted the levels of NETs between SIV-uninfected, SIV-infected, and SIV-infected antiretroviral-treated nonhuman primates. We also cocultured neutrophils from these animals with either peripheral blood mononuclear cells or platelets. Increased NET production was observed throughout SIV infection. In chronically infected animals, NETs were found in the gut, lung, and liver, and in the blood vessels of kidney and heart. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) decreased NETosis, albeit above preinfection levels. NETs captured CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, B cells, and monocytes, irrespective of their infection status, potentially contributing to the indiscriminate generalized immune cell loss characteristic to HIV/SIV infection, and limiting the CD4+ T cell recovery under ART. By capturing and facilitating aggregation of platelets, and through expression of increased tissue factor levels, NETs may also enhance HIV/SIV-related coagulopathy and promote cardiovascular comorbidities.
Ranjit Sivanandham, Egidio Brocca-Cofano, Noah Krampe, Elizabeth Falwell, Sindhuja Murali Kilapandal Venkatraman, Ruy M. Ribeiro, Cristian Apetrei, Ivona Pandrea