Interaction of HIV-1 and human salivary mucins

Earl J. Bergey*, Moon Il Cho, Benjamin M. Blumberg, Marie Louise Hammarskjöld, David Rekosh, Leon G. Epstein, Michael J. Levine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that salivary secretions may act as inhibitors of HIV-1 replication in vitro. This inhibitory activity was determined to be associated mainly with secretions obtained from the human submandib-ular-sublingual glands, and subsequent electron micrographs revealed the association of viral particles with the salivary sediment. Fractionation of human submandibular-sublingual (HSMSL) saliva by size-exclusion chromatography was initiated, and resulting fractions were tested for their ability to modulate the replication of HIV-1 using a plaque assay on HeLa CD4+ cell monolayers. Results indicated that the filtration-sensitive inhibitory activity was primarily associated with the mucin-rich fractions, and the inhibitory activity was found to reduce the number of infectious units by 75%. To determine the identity of the salivary components involved, adsorption experiments involving the interaction of HIV particles with immobilized salivary components were performed. Immunological counter staining revealed an interaction of HIV particles as well as recombinant gpl20 with the lower-molecular-weight mucin. Electron microscopic examination of the mucin-rich fractions-HIV incubates revealed the aggregation of virus particles by salivary components. These results suggest that human salivary mucins may have a role in modulating the infectivity of HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-1002
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994


  • HIV
  • Inhibition
  • Mucin
  • Saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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