Short-Chain Fatty Acids Impair Neutrophil Antiviral Function in an Age-Dependent Manner

Academic Article


  • Half of the people living with HIV are women. Younger women remain disproportionally affected in endemic areas, but infection rates in older women are rising worldwide. The vaginal microbiome influences genital inflammation and HIV infection risk. Multiple factors, including age, induce vaginal microbial alterations, characterized by high microbial diversity that generate high concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), known to modulate neutrophil function. However, how SCFAs may modulate innate anti-HIV protection by neutrophils is unknown. To investigate SCFA-mediated alterations of neutrophil function, blood neutrophils from younger and older women were treated with SCFAs (acetate, butyrate and propionate) at concentrations within the range reported during bacterial vaginosis, and phenotype, migration and anti-HIV responses were evaluated. SCFA induced phenotypical changes preferentially in neutrophils from older women. Butyrate decreased CD66b and increased CD16 and CD62L expression, indicating low activation and prolonged survival, while propionate increased CD54 and CXCR4 expression, indicating a mature aged phenotype. Furthermore, acetate and butyrate significantly inhibited neutrophil migration in vitro and specifically reduced α-defensin release in older women, molecules with anti-HIV activity. Following HIV stimulation, SCFA treatment delayed NET release and dampened chemokine secretion compared to untreated neutrophils in younger and older women. Our results demonstrate that SCFAs can impair neutrophil-mediated anti-HIV responses.
  • Published In

  • Cells  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Carrillo-Salinas FJ; Parthasarathy S; Moreno de Lara L; Borchers A; Ochsenbauer C; Panda A; Rodriguez-Garcia M
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 16