Supplementary Material for: Human Cervical Epithelial Cells Release Antiviral Factors and Inhibit HIV Replication in Macrophages

The female reproductive tract is a major site of HIV sexual transmission. We here examined whether human cervical epithelial cells (HCEs) can be immunologically activated and produce antiviral factors against HIV. We demonstrated that HCEs (End1/E6E7 cells) possess the functional toll-like receptor (TLR)3 signaling system, which could be activated by Poly I:C and induce multiple cellular HIV restriction factors. The treatment of primary human macrophages with supernatant (SN) from TLR3-activated End1/E6E7 cell cultures resulted in HIV inhibition. This SN-mediated HIV inhibition was mainly through the induction of interferons (IFN)-β and IFN-λs, as the antibodies to IFN-β or IFN-λs receptor could effectively block the SN-mediated anti-HIV effect. Further studies showed that the incubation of macrophages with SN from the activated cervical epithelial cell cultures induced the expression of a number of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), including IFN-stimulated gene (ISG15), ISG56, 2′, 5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS 1), OAS 2, Myxovirus Resistance A (MxA), MxB, and Guanylate-binding protein 5 (GBP5). In addition, TLR3-activated cells produced the CC chemokines [regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), Human macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha (MIP-1α), MIP-1β] the ligands of HIV entry co-receptor CCR5. These observations support further studies on HCEs as potentially crucial and alternative targets for immunological intervention to control and prevent HIV sexual transmission.