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Blocked early-stage latency in the peripheral blood cells of certain individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

Authors
  • Seshamma, T
  • Bagasra, O
  • Trono, D
  • Baltimore, D
  • Pomerantz, R J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Nov 15, 1992
Volume
89
Issue
22
Pages
10663–10667
Identifiers
PMID: 1279688
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infections of humans have a natural history characterized by a variable but usually slow progression to an immunodeficient state. We have described a molecular model of HIV-1 proviral latency in certain cell lines, characterized by extremely low or undetectable levels of unspliced genomic HIV-1-specific RNA but significant levels of multiply spliced HIV-1-specific RNA. We have utilized a quantitative reverse transcriptase-initiated polymerase chain reaction to measure the levels of various HIV-1 RNA species in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The median level of multiply spliced HIV-1 RNA was dramatically higher than the median level of unspliced viral RNA in asymptomatic individuals. In addition, HIV-1 RNA patterns characterized by at least a 10-fold excess of multiply spliced to unspliced viral RNA were significantly more common in asymptomatic individuals than in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. We suggest that asymptomatic clinical HIV-1 infection is characterized by a preponderance of HIV-1-infected peripheral blood cells blocked at an early stage of HIV-1 infection. This viral expression pattern, which we have called blocked early-stage latency, may constitute a reservoir of latently infected cells in certain HIV-1-infected persons.

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