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J Virol. 2010 Jan;84(1):340-51. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01865-09.

Different tempo and anatomic location of dual-tropic and X4 virus emergence in a model of R5 simian-human immunodeficiency virus infection.

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Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10016, USA.


We previously reported coreceptor switch in rhesus macaques inoculated intravenously with R5 simian-human immunodeficiency virus SF162P3N (SHIV(SF162P3N)). Whether R5-to-X4 virus evolution occurs in mucosally infected animals and in which anatomic site the switch occurs, however, were not addressed. We herein report a change in coreceptor preference in macaques infected intrarectally with SHIV(SF162P3N). The switch occurred in infected animals with high levels of virus replication and undetectable antiviral antibody response and required sequence changes in the V3 loop of the gp120 envelope protein. X4 virus emergence was associated with an accelerated drop in peripheral CD4(+) T-cell count but followed rather than preceded the onset of CD4(+) T-cell loss. The conditions, genotypic requirements, and patterns of coreceptor switch in intrarectally infected animals were thus remarkably consistent with those found in macaques infected intravenously. They also overlapped with those reported for humans, suggestive of a common mechanism for coreceptor switch in the two hosts. Furthermore, two independent R5-to-X4 evolutionary pathways were identified in one infected animal, giving rise to dual-tropic and X4 viruses which differed in switch kinetics and tissue localization. The dual-tropic switch event predominated early, and the virus established infection in multiple tissues sites. In contrast, the switch to X4 virus occurred later, initiating and expanding mainly in peripheral lymph nodes. These findings help define R5 SHIV(SF162P3N) infection of rhesus macaques as a model to study the mechanistic basis, dynamics, and sites of HIV-1 coreceptor switch.

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