Effects of three long-acting reversible contraceptive methods on HIV target cells in the human uterine cervix and peripheral blood.



Hormonal contraceptives, particularly depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), have been reported to be associated with substantially enhanced HIV acquisition; however, the biological mechanisms of this risk remain poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the effects of different hormonal contraceptives on the expression of the HIV co-receptors, CXCR4 and CCR5, on female endocervical and peripheral blood T cells.


A total of 59 HIV-negative women were enrolled, including 15 initiating DMPA, 28 initiating a levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD) and 16 initiating an etonogestrel (ETG)-delivering vaginal ring. Peripheral blood and endocervical cytobrush specimens were collected at enrollment and 3-4 weeks after contraception initiation to analyze the expression of CXCR4 and CCR5, on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells using flow cytometry.


Administration of DMPA increased the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressing CCR5 in the endocervix but not in the peripheral blood. Administration of the LNG-IUD or the ETG vaginal ring did not affect the percentages of T lymphocytes expressing CXCR4 or CCR5 in the female cervix or peripheral blood.


Increase in the percentage of endocervical T cells expressing CCR5 upon DMPA exposure provides a plausible biological explanation for the association between DMPA use and an elevated risk of HIV infection.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Li, Liping, Jie Zhou, Weijia Wang, Lina Huang, Jiaoqin Tu, Lyndsey Baiamonte, Moselle Stark, Mistie Mills, et al. (2019). Effects of three long-acting reversible contraceptive methods on HIV target cells in the human uterine cervix and peripheral blood. Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E, 17(1). p. 26. 10.1186/s12958-019-0469-8 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27909.

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Danny J Schust

Edwin Crowell Hamblen Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biology and Family Planning

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