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      Pathogenic Mechanisms of HIV Disease

      , , 1

      Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is generally characterized by inefficient viral transmission; an acute phase of intense viral replication and dissemination to lymphoid tissues; a chronic, often asymptomatic phase of sustained immune activation and viral replication; and an advanced phase of marked depletion of CD4+ T cells that leads to acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Major insight into HIV transmission and each phase of infection has been gained from studies on blood and tissue specimens obtained from HIV-infected individuals, as well as from animal and ex vivo models. Not only has the introduction of effective antiretroviral therapy greatly diminished the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV disease progression, it has also provided new avenues of research toward delineating the mechanisms of HIV-induced pathogenesis. Further advances in therapeutics and informative technologies, combined with a better understanding of the immunologic and virologic components of HIV disease, hold promise for new preventative and even curative strategies.

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          Most cited references 100

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          Rapid turnover of plasma virions and CD4 lymphocytes in HIV-1 infection.

          Treatment of infected patients with ABT-538, an inhibitor of the protease of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), causes plasma HIV-1 levels to decrease exponentially (mean half-life, 2.1 +/- 0.4 days) and CD4 lymphocyte counts to rise substantially. Minimum estimates of HIV-1 production and clearance and of CD4 lymphocyte turnover indicate that replication of HIV-1 in vivo is continuous and highly productive, driving the rapid turnover of CD4 lymphocytes.
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            HIV nonprogressors preferentially maintain highly functional HIV-specific CD8+ T cells.

            Establishing a CD8(+) T cell-mediated immune correlate of protection in HIV disease is crucial to the development of vaccines designed to generate cell-mediated immunity. Historically, neither the quantity nor breadth of the HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell response has correlated conclusively with protection. Here, we assess the quality of the HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell response by measuring 5 CD8(+) T-cell functions (degranulation, IFN-gamma, MIP-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-2) simultaneously in chronically HIV-infected individuals and elite nonprogressors. We find that the functional profile of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells in progressors is limited compared to that of nonprogressors, who consistently maintain highly functional CD8(+) T cells. This limited functionality is independent of HLA type and T-cell memory phenotype, is HIV-specific rather than generalized, and is not effectively restored by therapeutic intervention. Whereas the total HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell frequency did not correlate with viral load, the frequency and proportion of the HIV-specific T-cell response with highest functionality inversely correlated with viral load in the progressors. Thus, rather than quantity or phenotype, the quality of the CD8(+) T-cell functional response serves as an immune correlate of HIV disease progression and a potential qualifying factor for evaluation of HIV vaccine efficacy.
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              Quantification of latent tissue reservoirs and total body viral load in HIV-1 infection.

              The capacity of HIV-1 to establish latent infection of CD4+ T cells may allow viral persistence despite immune responses and antiretroviral therapy. Measurements of infectious virus and viral RNA in plasma and of infectious virus, viral DNA and viral messenger RNA species in infected cells all suggest that HIV-1 replication continues throughout the course of infection. Uncertainty remains over what fraction of CD4+ T cells are infected and whether there are latent reservoirs for the virus. We show here that during the asymptomatic phase of infection there is an extremely low total body load of latently infected resting CD4+ T cells with replication-competent integrated provirus (<10(7) cells). The most prevalent form of HIV-1 DNA in resting and activated CD4+ T cells is a full-length, linear, unintegrated form that is not replication competent. The infection progresses even though at any given time in the lymphoid tissues integrated HIV-1 DNA is present in only a minute fraction of the susceptible populations, including resting and activated CD4+ T cells and macrophages.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease
                Annu. Rev. Pathol. Mech. Dis.
                Annual Reviews
                1553-4006
                1553-4014
                February 28 2011
                February 28 2011
                : 6
                : 1
                : 223-248
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892; email: , ,
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-pathol-011110-130254
                21034222
                © 2011

                Medicine, Cell biology, Immunology, Human biology, Microbiology & Virology, Life sciences

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