• Article

Impact of chronic sexual abuse and depression on inflammation and wound healing in the female reproductive tract of HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected women

Sexual violence is associated with increased risk of HIV acquisition/transmission in women. Forced sex can result in physical trauma to the reproductive tract as well as severe psychological distress. However, immuno-biological mechanisms linking sexual violence and HIV susceptibility are incompletely understood. Using the Women's Interagency HIV Study repository, a total of 77 women were selected to form 4 groups, stratified by HIV serostatus, in the following categories: 1) no sexual abuse history and low depressive symptom score (below clinically significant cut-off, scores = 16 (Depression); 3) chronic sexual abuse exposure and low depressive symptom score (Abuse); 4) chronic sexual abuse exposure and high depressive symptom score (Abuse+Depression). Inflammation-associated cytokines/chemokines/proteases (TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, TGF-beta MIP-3 alpha, IP-10, MCP-1, Cathepsin B), anti-inflammatory/anti-HIV mediators (Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), Elafin, beta defensin 2 (HBD2), alpha defensins (HNP 1-3), Thrombospondin (TSP-1), Serpin A1, A5, Cystatin A, B), and wound-healing mediators (Gro-alpha, VEGF, PDGF, EGF, FGF, IGF), were measured in cervical-vaginal lavage (CVL) using ELISA. Linear regression was used to model association of biomarkers with depression and abuse as predictor variables; the interaction between depression and abuse was also tested. Anti-HIV activity in CVL was tested using TZM-bl indicator cell line. In HIV-uninfected women, median levels of IL-6 (p = 0.04), IL-1 alpha (p

Evaluation of longitudinal changes in exposures and biomarkers are needed to untangle the immuno-biological mechanisms that may put women who endure life-long sexual abuse at increased risk for HIV.

Citation

Ghosh, M., Daniels, J., Pyra, M., Juzumaite, M., Jais, M., Murphy, K., ... Weber, K. (2018). Impact of chronic sexual abuse and depression on inflammation and wound healing in the female reproductive tract of HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected women. PLoS One, 13(6), [0198412].