[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current antiretroviral therapy is effective in suppressing but not eliminating HIV-1 infection. Understanding the source of viral persistence is essential for developing strategies to eradicate HIV-1 infection. We therefore investigated the level of plasma HIV-1 RNA in patients with viremia suppressed to less than 50-75 copies/ml on standard protease inhibitor- or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-containing antiretroviral therapy using a new, real-time PCR-based assay for HIV-1 RNA with a limit of detection of one copy of HIV-1 RNA. Single copy assay results revealed that >80% of patients on initial antiretroviral therapy for 60 wk had persistent viremia of one copy/ml or more with an overall median of 3.1 copies/ml. The level of viremia correlated with pretherapy plasma HIV-1 RNA but not with the specific treatment regimen. Longitudinal studies revealed no significant decline in the level of viremia between 60 and 110 wk of suppressive antiretroviral therapy. These data suggest that the persistent viremia on current antiretroviral therapy is derived, at least in part, from long-lived cells that are infected prior to initiation of therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV seropositive individuals co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have an increased risk for liver cirrhosis. We examined the long-term effect of controlling HIV infection with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on HCV viremia among co-infected patients.
HIV/HCV co-infected patients who initiated HAART and were able to control HIV viremia to <500 copies/mL were evaluated. HIV and HCV viremia were measured at each time point from frozen plasma samples by using bDNA methodology. Liver function tests and CD4+ and CD8+ T cell counts of all patients were obtained at each time point.
Seventeen co-infected patients met criteria for study from a cohort of 156 patients. Median time to achieve an HIV viral load (VL) <500 copies/mL after initiation of HAART was 28 weeks (range, 5-225 weeks). Thirteen of 17 patients had increases in HCV VL. Slope analysis of HCV VL vs. HIV VL was -0.14 (p=.0496), demonstrating a 0.14 log increase in HCV VL concomitant with control of HIV viremia. HCV viremia returned toward baseline levels in the 16 patients who maintained HIV suppression for 6 months. None cleared HCV after initiation of HAART during this time. Alkaline phosphatase, ALT, and AST levels were not significantly changed from baseline nor correlated with change in HCV VL (p>.05).
Control of HIV viremia may result in an early increase in HCV viremia. In this study, for every 1 log decrease of HIV VL there was a 0.14 log increase of HCV VL. The exact mechanism of this flare seen with control of HIV viremia is unknown. However, HAART alone was not able to eliminate or significantly reduce the HCV viremia in this cohort of co-infected patients.
HIV Clinical Trials 01/2004; 5(1):25-32. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More sensitive assays for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA are needed to detect, quantify, and characterize persistent viremia in patients who are receiving antiretroviral therapy and whose plasma HIV-1 RNA levels are suppressed to less than 50 to 75 copies/ml. We therefore developed an internally controlled real-time reverse transcriptase-initiated PCR assay that quantifies HIV-1 RNA concentrations down to 1 copy per ml of plasma. This assay with single-copy sensitivity (the single-copy assay) generates a reproducible linear regression plot of input copy number versus threshold cycle by using HIV-1 RNA transcripts at copy numbers ranging from 1 to 10(6) per reaction mixture. The single-copy assay was compared to the ultrasensitive AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR assay and a more sensitive modification of the ultrasensitive assay by repeatedly testing a low-copy-number panel containing 200 to 0.781 copies of HIV-1 RNA per ml of plasma. This comparison showed that the single-copy assay had a greater sensitivity than the other assays and was the only assay that detected HIV-1 RNA at levels as low as 0.781 copies/ml. Testing of plasma samples from 15 patients who were receiving antiretroviral therapy and who had <75 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml revealed persistent viremia in all 15 patients, with HIV-1 RNA levels ranging from 1 to 32 copies/ml (median, 13 copies/ml). The greater sensitivity of the single-copy assay should allow better characterization of persistent viremia in patients who are receiving antiretroviral therapy and whose HIV-1 RNA levels are suppressed to below the detection limits of present assays.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 10/2003; 41(10):4531-6. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV infection leads to numerous immunologic defects, including impaired B cell function. An effective humoral response requires bidirectional interactions between B cells and CD4(+) T cells, critical of which are interactions between CD80/CD86 expressed on activated B cells and CD28 expressed on responder CD4(+) T cells. In the present study, we examined the effect of active HIV replication on B cell costimulatory function. Induction of CD80/CD86 on B cells following B cell receptor and CD40 triggering and responsiveness of CD4(+) T cells to activated B cells were investigated in a system where B cells of HIV-infected patients were compared concurrently to B cells of HIV-negative donors. In contrast to HIV-aviremic patients, B cells of HIV-viremic patients were ineffective at stimulating CD4(+) T cells, as measured by the induction of activation markers and proliferation. The importance of interactions of CD80/CD86 and CD28 in activating CD4(+) T cells was clear; the ablation of a normal response following the addition of neutralizing anti-CD86/CD80 Abs mirrored the response of CD4(+) T cells to B cells of HIV-viremic patients, while the addition of exogenous CD28 ligands partially restored the poor CD4(+) T cell response to the B cells of HIV-viremic patients. Ineffective B cell costimulatory function in HIV-viremic patients was associated with low induction of CD80/CD86 expression on B cells. Our findings further delineate the scope of defects associated with cognate B cell-CD4(+) T cell interactions in HIV infection and suggest that therapeutic interventions designed to enhance CD28-dependent costimulatory pathways may help restore immune functions.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2003; 170(12):5965-72. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the HLA B(*)5701 class I allele is highly overrepresented among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs), it is also present at the expected frequency (11%) in patients with progressive HIV infection. Whether B57(+) progressors lack restriction of viral replication because of escape from recognition of highly immunodominant B57-restricted gag epitopes by CD8(+) T cells remains unknown. In this report, we investigate the association between restriction of virus replication and recognition of autologous virus sequences in 27 B(*)57(+) patients (10 LTNPs and 17 progressors). Amplification and direct sequencing of single molecules of viral cDNA or proviral DNA revealed low frequencies of genetic variations in these regions of gag. Furthermore, CD8(+) T-cell recognition of autologous viral variants was preserved in most cases. In two patients, responses to autologous viral variants were not demonstrable at one epitope. By using a novel technique to isolate primary CD4(+) T cells expressing autologous viral gene products, it was found that 1 to 13% of CD8(+) T cells were able to respond to these cells by gamma interferon production. In conclusion, escape-conferring mutations occur infrequently within immunodominant B57-restricted gag epitopes and are not the primary mechanism of virus evasion from immune control in B(*)5701(+) HIV-infected patients. Qualitative features of the virus-specific CD8(+) T-cell response not measured by current assays remain the most likely determinants of the differential abilities of HLA B(*)5701(+) LTNPs and progressors to restrict virus replication.
Journal of Virology 07/2003; 77(12):6889-98. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV infection induces a wide array of B cell dysfunctions. We have characterized the effect of plasma viremia on the responsiveness of B cells to CD4(+) T cell help in HIV-infected patients. In HIV-negative donors, B cell proliferation correlated with CD154 expression on activated CD4(+) T cells and with the availability of IL-2, whereas in HIV-infected viremic patients, reduced B cell proliferation was observed despite normal CD154 expression on activated CD4(+) T cells. Reduced triggering of B cells by activated CD4(+) T cells was clearly observed in HIV-infected viremic patients compared with aviremic patients with comparable CD4(+) T cell counts, and a dramatic improvement in B cell function was observed in patients whose plasma viremia was controlled by effective antiretroviral therapy. The degree of B cell dysfunction in viremic patients correlated strongly with the inability of B cells to express CD25 in response to activated CD4(+) T cells, resulting in an inability to mount a normal proliferative response to IL-2. Similar defects in responsiveness to IL-2 were observed in the B cells of HIV-infected viremic patients in the context of B cell receptor stimulation. These data provide new insight into the mechanisms associated with ineffective humoral responses in HIV disease.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2003; 100(10):6057-62. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the effect of viremia on cell contact and soluble factor-mediated suppression of endogenous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in CD4+ T cells from HIV-1-infected individuals by autologous natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T cells. NK cells suppressed HIV replication as effectively as did CD8+ T cells. Suppression of HIV replication by NK cell culture supernatant was predominantly mediated by CC-chemokine secretion and was considerably greater in patients without viremia than in patients with viremia. Furthermore, there was an inverse correlation between the level of viremia and the ability of NK cells and NK-derived supernatants to suppress virus replication. The ability of NK cells to control HIV replication was independent of levels of interferon-gamma expression and cytolytic activity. Our results demonstrate that NK-mediated suppression of HIV replication is as potent as that of CD8+ T cells; it is mediated predominantly by secretion of CC-chemokines, and the presence of viremia markedly impairs this NK-mediated inhibitory effect on HIV replication.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 05/2003; 187(7):1038-45. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Various strategies of interrupting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) are being investigated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Interruptions of greater than 2 weeks frequently result in rebound of plasma HIV RNA. In order to discern changes in the viral population that might occur during cycles of treatment interruption, we evaluated the homology of HIV-1 envelope gene sequences over time in 12 patients who received four to seven cycles of 4 weeks off HAART followed by 8 weeks on HAART by using the heteroduplex tracking assay and novel statistical tools. HIV populations in 9 of 12 patients diverged from those found in the first cycle in at least one subsequent cycle. The substantial genetic changes noted in HIV env did not correlate with increased or decreased log changes in levels of plasma HIV RNA (P > 0.5). Thus, genetic changes in HIV env itself did not contribute in a systematic way to changes in levels of plasma viremia from cycle to cycle of treatment interruption. In addition, the data suggest that there may be multiple compartments contributing to the rebound of plasma viremia and to viral diversity from cycle to cycle of intermittent therapy.
Journal of Virology 03/2003; 77(5):3229-37. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of HIV-1 in latently infected, resting CD4(+) T cells has been clearly demonstrated in infected individuals; however, the extent of viral expression and the underlying mechanisms of the persistence of HIV-1 in this viral reservoir have not been fully delineated. Here, we show that resting CD4(+) T cells from the majority of viremic patients are capable of producing cell-free HIV-1 spontaneously ex vivo. The levels of HIV-1 released by resting CD4(+) T cells were not significantly reduced in the presence of inhibitors of cellular proliferation and viral replication. However, resting CD4(+) T cells from the majority of aviremic patients failed to produce virions, despite levels of HIV-1 proviral DNA and cell-associated HIV-1 RNA comparable to viremic patients. The DNA microarray analysis demonstrated that a number of genes involving transcription regulation, RNA processing and modification, and protein trafficking and vesicle transport were significantly upregulated in resting CD4(+) T cells of viremic patients compared to those of aviremic patients. These results suggest that active viral replication has a significant impact on the physiologic state of resting CD4(+) T cells in infected viremic patients and, in turn, allows release of HIV-1 without exogenous activation stimuli. In addition, given that no quantifiable virions were produced by the latent viral reservoir in the majority of aviremic patients despite the presence of cell-associated HIV-1 RNA, evidence for transcription of HIV-1 RNA in resting CD4(+) T cells of aviremic patients should not necessarily be taken as direct evidence for ongoing viral replication during effective therapy.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2003; 100(4):1908-13. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is unclear why immunological control of HIV replication is incomplete in most infected individuals. We examined here the CD8+ T cell response to HIV-infected CD4+ T cells in rare patients with immunological control of HIV. Although high frequencies of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells were present in nonprogressors and progressors, only those of nonprogressors maintained a high proliferative capacity. This proliferation was coupled to increases in perforin expression. These results indicated that nonprogressors were differentiated by increased proliferative capacity of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells linked to enhanced effector function. In addition, the relative absence of these functions in progressors may represent a mechanism by which HIV avoids immunological control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) virions bind to B cells in the peripheral blood and lymph nodes through interactions between CD21 on B cells and complement-complexed virions. B-cell-bound virions have been shown to be highly infectious, suggesting a unique mode of HIV-1 dissemination by B cells circulating between peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues. In order to investigate the relationship between B-cell-bound HIV-1 and viruses found in CD4+ T cells and in plasma, we examined the genetic relationships of HIV-1 found in the blood and lymph nodes of chronically infected patients with heteroduplex mobility and tracking assays and DNA sequence analysis. In samples from 13 of 15 patients examined, HIV-1 variants in peripheral blood-derived B cells were closely related to virus in CD4+ T cells and more divergent from virus in plasma. In samples from five chronically viremic patients for whom analyses were extended to include lymph node-derived HIV-1 isolates, B-cell-associated HIV-1 and CD4+-T-cell-associated HIV-1 in the lymph nodes were equivalent in their divergence from virus in peripheral blood-derived B cells and generally more distantly related to virus in peripheral blood-derived CD4+ T cells. These results indicates virologic cross talk between B cells and CD4+ T cells within the microenvironment of lymphoid tissues and, to a lesser extent, between cells in lymph nodes and the peripheral blood. These findings also indicate that most of the virus in plasma originates from cells other than CD4(+) T cells in the peripheral blood and lymph nodes.
Journal of Virology 10/2002; 76(17):8855-63. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteonecrosis has been reported to occur occasionally among HIV-infected patients. The diagnosis of symptomatic osteonecrosis of the hip in two of the authors' patients, together with reports from community physicians, raised a concern that the prevalence of osteonecrosis is increasing.
To determine the prevalence of osteonecrosis of the hip in asymptomatic HIV-infected patients and to identify potential risk factors associated with osteonecrosis.
Survey and comparison study.
The Clinical Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
339 asymptomatic HIV-infected adults (of 364 asked to participate) and 118 age- and sex-matched HIV-negative volunteers enrolled between 1 June and 15 December 1999.
Osteonecrosis of the hip, as documented by magnetic resonance imaging. Data from clinic records and a patient questionnaire administered before magnetic resonance imaging were used in an analysis of risk factors. A subset of patients was evaluated for hypercoagulable state.
Fifteen (4.4% [95% CI, 2.5% to 7.2%]) of 339 HIV-infected participants had osteonecrosis lesions on magnetic resonance imaging, and no HIV-negative participants had similar lesions. Among HIV-infected participants, osteonecrosis occurred more frequently in those who used systemic corticosteroids, lipid-lowering agents, or testosterone; those who exercised routinely by bodybuilding; and those who had detectable levels of anticardiolipin antibodies.
Patients infected with HIV have an unexpectedly high occurrence of osteonecrosis of the hip. Although screening asymptomatic patients is not warranted, HIV-infected patients with persistent groin or hip pain should be evaluated for this debilitating complication.
Annals of internal medicine 08/2002; 137(1):17-25. · 13.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been demonstrated that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication persists in most infected individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). However, studies addressing the relationship between low levels of ongoing viral replication and immunologic parameters, such as the CD4+:CD8+ T cell ratio, in such individuals have been lacking. Here, a statistically significant inverse correlation is shown between the frequency of CD4+ T cells carrying HIV-1 proviral DNA and the CD4+:CD8+ T cell ratio in infected individuals receiving HAART and in whom plasma viremia had been suppressed below the limit of detection for prolonged periods of time. No correlation was found between the frequency of HIV-1-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs) and the CD4+:CD8+ T cell ratios in those individuals. These data suggest that persistent, low-level, ongoing viral replication, although not sufficient to maintain HIV-1-specific CTL responses, may explain, in part, why normalization of the CD4+:CD8+ T cell ratio is not achieved in some infected individuals successfully treated with HAART.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2002; 185(11):1672-6. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of HIV-associated immunopathogenesis on B cells has been largely associated with indirect consequences of viral
replication. This study demonstrates that HIV interacts directly with B cells in both lymphoid tissues and peripheral blood.
B cells isolated from lymph node and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 4 and 23 chronically infected patients,
respectively, demonstrated similar capacities to pass virus to activated HIV-negative PBMCs when compared with CD4+ cells from the same patients. However, in contrast to T cells, virus associated with B cells was surface bound, as shown
by its sensitivity to pronase and the staining pattern revealed by in situ amplification of HIV-1 RNA. Cell sorting and ligand
displacing approaches established that CD21 was the HIV-binding receptor on B cells, and that this association was mediated
through complement-opsonized virus. These B cells were also found to express significantly lower levels of CD21 compared with
HIV-negative individuals, suggesting a direct perturbing effect of HIV on B cells. These findings suggest that B cells, although
they themselves are not readily infected by HIV, are similar to follicular dendritic cells in their capacity to serve as extracellular
reservoirs for HIV-1. Furthermore, B cells possess the added capability of circulating in peripheral blood and migrating through
tissues where they can potentially interact with and pass virus to T cells.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 09/2000; 192(5):637-646. · 13.21 Impact Factor