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J Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 1;186(7):905-13. Epub 2002 Sep 13.

The central nervous system as a reservoir for simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV): steady-state levels of SIV DNA in brain from acute through asymptomatic infection.

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Department of Comparative Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Latent reservoirs of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) present significant challenges for eradicating HIV from infected persons, particularly reservoirs in the brain established during acute infection. A simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)/macaque model of HIV dementia was used to show that viral DNA levels in the brain remained at constant levels from acute through asymptomatic infection, despite significant down-regulation of viral RNA in the brain after the acute phase of infection. Viral replication in the brain coincided with activation of macrophages and microglia in the central nervous system; down-regulation of viral replication coincided with increased infiltration of cytotoxic lymphocytes and reduced activation of macrophages and microglia in the brain. Comparison of viral genotypes in the central nervous system and peripheral blood mononuclear cells suggests that recrudescence of viral replication in brain occurs by reactivation of latent viral DNA. Latent virus in the brain must be considered in therapeutic strategies to eliminate HIV from infected persons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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