Figure 7. The HIV steady state.

Figure 7

The HIV steady state. (A) The lifetimes of various kinetic classes of infected cells are illustrated schematically by the arrows. Starting from a common pool of uninfected cells (unshaded symbols), infection from a common pool of virus (small colored circles) leads to viral DNA-positive, nonproducing cells (gray and black), which, at various times, become virus-producing (color and black), and contribute to the viral pool until they die (faint color). Cells that receive defective proviruses remain nonproductive and, consequently, survive a much longer time than cells in the other classes. Virus released into blood is relatively rapidly cleared. At steady state, the rate at which cells of each class become infected exactly equals their death rate, and the rate of virion production is exactly equal to its rate of clearance. (B) Fate of an HIV-infected cell. The cartoon illustrates the proportion of surviving cells in each of the kinetic classes as a function of the time after its infection. As estimated from the kind of experiment illustrated in Fig. 6, the large majority of infected cells (>95%) die with a half-life of about 2 days. Much smaller fractions become latently or chronically infected cells, with a half-life of about 20 days, or nonproductively infected cells, with a half-life of approximately 120 days.

From: Course of Infection with HIV and SIV

Cover of Retroviruses
Retroviruses.
Coffin JM, Hughes SH, Varmus HE, editors.
Cold Spring Harbor (NY): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1997.
Copyright © 1997, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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