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J Med Primatol. 2000 Aug;29(3-4):127-35.

Early changes in peripheral blood T cells during primary infection of rhesus macaques with a pathogenic SIV.

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1
INSERM EMI 9922, Hôpital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Université Paris VII, France.

Abstract

Primary infection of rhesus macaques with pathogenic strains of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) leads to rapid and dynamic changes in both viral load and T cell counts in the peripheral blood. We have performed a sequential analysis of peripheral blood CD4 and CD8 T cells in five macaques during the 8 weeks following SIVmac251 infection. We observed a transient lymphopenia of both CD4 and CD8 T cells during the first 2 weeks, followed by a rebound. The primary phase of infection was associated with changes in the T cells expressing CD25, CD69, or HLA-DR and with a priming of the peripheral blood CD4 and CD8 T cells for a process of apoptosis in vitro that was enhanced by CD95 (Fas) ligation, and was detected in two macaques as early as 7 days after infection. Despite the small numbers of animals studied, the importance of the early transient CD4 and CD8 T lymphopenia was positively correlated with the viral load. No correlation was found, however, between the level of activation markers expressed or of priming for apoptosis in peripheral blood T cells and the viral load. Our findings suggest the possibility that the early activation and priming for apoptosis of CD4 and CD8 T cells may involve indirect, host-related, mechanisms, or alternatively, that the T cells that remain in the peripheral blood during primary infection do not adequately reflect the viral-mediated changes in T cell activation and death that may occur in the lymphoid organs throughout the body.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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