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Virology. 2000 Dec 20;278(2):514-9.

In vitro induction of HIV-1 replication in resting CD4(+) T cells derived from individuals with undetectable plasma viremia upon stimulation with human T-cell leukemia virus type I.

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA.


Microbial coinfections have been associated with transient bursts of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viremia in patients. In this study we investigated whether human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I), another human retrovirus that is prevalent among certain HIV-infected populations, can induce HIV-1 replication in patients who had been successfully treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy. We demonstrate that supernatants from HTLV-I-producing MT-2 cells can induce in vitro replication of HIV-1 from highly purified, resting CD4(+) T cells obtained from individuals with undetectable plasma viremia. Depletion of proinflammatory cytokines from the supernatants reduced, but did not abrogate, the ability to induce HIV-1 replication, indicating that other factors such as HTLV-I Tax or Env also have a role. The HTLV-I-mediated effect does not require productive infection: exposure to heat-inactivated HTLV-I virions, purified Tax protein, or HTLV-I Env glycoprotein also induced expression of HIV-1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that coculture of resting CD4(+) T cells with autologous CD8(+) T cells markedly inhibits the HTLV-I-induced virus replication. Our results suggest that coinfection with HTLV-I may induce viral replication in the latent viral reservoirs; however, CD8(+) T cells may play an important role in controlling the spread of virus upon microbial stimulation.

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