Unique pathology in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rapid progressor macaques is consistent with a pathogenesis distinct from that of classical AIDS.

Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, NIAID, NIH, 4 Center Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 07/2007; 81(11):5594-606. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00202-07
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of macaques and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of humans result in variable but generally fatal disease outcomes. Most SIV-infected macaques progress to AIDS over a period of 1 to 3 years, in the face of robust SIV-specific immune responses (conventional progressors [CP]). A small number of SIV-inoculated macaques mount transient immune responses and progress rapidly to AIDS (rapid progressors [RP]). We speculated that the underlying pathogenic mechanisms may differ between RP and CP macaques. We compared the pathological lesions, virus loads, and distribution of virus and target cells in SIVsmE660- or SIVsmE543-infected RP and CP rhesus macaques at terminal disease. RP macaques developed a wasting syndrome characterized by severe SIV enteropathy in the absence of opportunistic infections. In contrast, opportunistic infections were commonly observed in CP macaques. RP and CP macaques showed distinct patterns of CD4(+) T-cell depletion, with a selective loss of memory cells in RP macaques and a generalized (naive and memory) CD4 depletion in CP macaques. In situ hybridization demonstrated higher levels of virus expression in lymphoid tissues (P < 0.001) of RP macaques and a broader distribution to include many nonlymphoid tissues. Finally, SIV was preferentially expressed in macrophages in RP macaques whereas the primary target cells in CP macaques were T lymphocytes at end stage disease. These data suggest distinct pathogenic mechanisms leading to the deaths of these two groups of animals, with CP macaques being more representative of HIV-induced AIDS in humans.

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