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Blood. 1998 Feb 1;91(3):907-15.

Neither human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) nor HIV-2 infects most-primitive human hematopoietic stem cells as assessed in long-term bone marrow cultures.

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Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Attempts to clarify the pathophysiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-mediated bone marrow (BM) dysfunction have yielded inconsistent results regarding the susceptibility of BM progenitors to the viral infection. To specifically address this question, we exposed highly purified subpopulations of human BM progenitor cells to various HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains and assessed (pro)viral gene presence and expression in more-committed (CD34+CD38+) as well as most-primitive (CD34+CD38-) cells in long-term BM cultures. Quantitative analysis of long-term culture-initiating cells (LTCIC) failed to demonstrate adverse effects of exposing hematopoietic stem cells to HIV. Our results show that HIV-2, similar to HIV-1, does not infect hematopoietic stem cells in vitro with any significant frequency and infected cells are not present within LTCICs. Cytofluorometric analysis of CD34+ cells for surface molecules that facilitate HIV entry was consistent with the functional assay in that expression of virus receptors was predominantly on the more-committed subsets of BM progenitors. The failure to detect productive or latent HIV in the most-primitive human BM progenitor and stem cells has important implications for future therapeutic strategies, including those dealing with transduction of these cells with protective genes as a treatment modality for AIDS.

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