Hydroxypropyl-Beta-Cyclodextrin Reduces Inflammatory Signaling from Monocytes: Possible Implications for Suppression of HIV Chronic Immune Activation

Flávio Lemos Matassoli, Ihid Carneiro Leão, Bruno Braz Bezerra, Richard B Pollard, Dieter Lütjohann, James Hildreth, Luciana Barros de Arruda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Monocytes from HIV-infected patients produce increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, which are associated with chronic immune activation and AIDS progression. Chronic immune activation is often not restored even in patients showing viral suppression under ART. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies to control inflammation and modulate immune activation are required. Hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-BCD) is a cholesterol-sequestering agent that has been reported to be safe for human use in numerous pharmaceutical applications and that has been shown to inactivate HIV in vitro and to control SIV infection in vivo Since cellular cholesterol content or metabolism has been related to altered cellular activation, we evaluated whether HP-BCD treatment could modulate monocyte response to inflammatory stimuli. Treatment of monocytes isolated from HIV-positive and HIV-negative donors with HP-BCD inhibited the expression of CD36 and TNF-α after LPS stimulation, independent of raft disruption. Accordingly, HP-BCD-treated cells showed significant reduction of TNF-α and IL-10 secretion, which was associated with lower mRNA expression. LPS-induced p38MAPK phosphorylation was dampened by HP-BCD treatment, indicating this pathway as a target for HP-BCD-mediated anti-inflammatory response. The expression of HLA-DR was also reduced in monocytes and dendritic cells treated with HP-BCD, which could hinder T cell activation by these cells. Our data suggest that, besides its well-known antiviral activity, HP-BCD could have an immunomodulatory effect, leading to decreased inflammatory responses mediated by antigen-presenting cells, which may impact HIV pathogenesis and AIDS progression.IMPORTANCE Chronic immune activation is a hallmark of HIV infection and is often not controlled even in patients under antiretroviral therapy. Indeed, chronic diseases with inflammatory pathogenesis are being reported as major causes of death for HIV-infected persons. Hydroxypropyl-beta cyclodextrin (HP-BCD) is a cholesterol-sequestering drug that inhibits HIV replication and infectivity in vitro and in vivo Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of cholesterol metabolism and content in different inflammatory conditions; therefore, we investigated the potential of HP-BCD as an immunomodulatory drug, regulating the activation of cells from HIV-infected patients. Treatment of monocytes with HP-BCD inhibited the expression and secretion of receptors and mediators that are usually enhanced in HIV patients. Furthermore, we investigated the molecular mechanisms associated with the immunomodulatory effect of HP-BCD. Our results indicate that, besides reducing viral replication, HP-BCD treatment may contribute to modulation of chronic immune activation associated with AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 7 2018


  • beta-cyclodextrin
  • HIV
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • inflammation
  • monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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