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date of publication1-feb-2000
journalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2000 Feb 1;97(3):1269-74
titleIn vivo HIV-1 infection of CD45RA(+)CD4(+) T cells is established primarily by syncytium-inducing variants and correlates with the rate of CD4(+) T cell decline [In Process Citation]
title in Dutch
resp. centreCLB
designSwitch from non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) to syncytium-inducing (SI) HIV type 1 (HIV-1) is associated with accelerated CD4+ T cell depletion, which might partially be explained by higher virulence of SI variants compared with NSI variants. Because NSI and SI variants use different coreceptors for entry of target cells, altered tropism might offer an explanation for increased pathogenesis associated with SI HIV-1 infection. To investigate whether SI and NSI HIV-1 variants infect different CD4+ T cell subsets in vivo, the distribution of SI and NSI variants over CD4+ memory (CD45RARO+) and naive (CD45RA+RO) cells was studied by using limiting dilution cultures. In contrast to NSI variants that were mainly present in CD45RO+ cells, SI variants were equally distributed over CD45RO+ and CD45RA+ cells. Infection of memory cells by both NSI and SI HIV-1 and infection of naive cells primarily by SI HIV-1 corresponded closely with the differential cell surface expression of CXCR4 and CCR5. The frequency of SI-infected CD45RA+ CD4+ T cells, but not the frequency of NSI- or SI-infected CD45RO+ CD4+ T cells, correlated with the rate of CD4+ T cell depletion. Infection of naive cells by SI HIV-1 may interfere with CD4+ T cell production and thus account for rapid CD4+ T cell depletion.

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