International journal of molecular sciences 2017 06 2918(7) pii 10.3390/ijms18071390
Persistent low grade immune activation and chronic inflammation are nowadays considered main driving forces of the progressive immunologic failure in effective antiretroviral therapy treated HIV-1 infected individuals. Among the factors contributing to this phenomenon, microbial translocation has emerged as a key driver of persistent immune activation. Indeed, the rapid depletion of gastrointestinal CD4⁺ T lymphocytes occurring during the early phases of infection leads to a deterioration of the gut epithelium followed by the translocation of microbial products into the systemic circulation and the subsequent activation of innate immunity. In this context, monocytes/macrophages are increasingly recognized as an important source of inflammation, linked to HIV-1 disease progression and to non-AIDS complications, such as cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive decline, which are currently main challenges in treated patients. Lipid signaling plays a central role in modulating monocyte/macrophage activation, immune functions and inflammatory responses. Phospholipase-mediated phospholipid hydrolysis leads to the production of lipid mediators or second messengers that affect signal transduction, thus regulating a variety of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. In this review, we discuss the contribution of phospholipases to monocyte/macrophage activation in the context of HIV-1 infection, focusing on their involvement in virus-associated chronic inflammation and co-morbidities.