OBJECTIVE: To assess the source of HIV-1 production in lymphoid tissue biopsies from HIV-infected patients, with no prior anti-retroviral protease inhibitor treatment, with a CD4 cell count > 150 x 10(6)/l (group I) or < 50 x 10(6)/l (group II), co-infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium avium complex. DESIGN AND METHODS: Lymphoid tissue biopsies from 11 HIV-1-infected patients, taken for diagnostic purposes, were studied by HIV-1 RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Patients of group I showed well organized granulomas, in contrast with patients of group II, in which granuloma formation was absent. HIV-1 RNA-positive cells in group I patients were found mainly around the granulomas, whereas in group II HIV-1-producing cells were confined to areas with remaining intact lymphoid tissue. Despite the abundant presence of macrophages, the productively infected HIV-1-positive cells in both groups were almost exclusively CD4 T cells. CONCLUSION: In contrast with previously published data, CD4 T cells appear to remain the major source of HIV-1 production in end-stage disease.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Ende, M., Schutten, M., Raschdorff, B., Grosschupff, G., Racz, P., Osterhaus, A., & Tenner-Racz, K. (1999). CD4 T cells remain the major source of HIV-1 during end stage disease. AIDS, 13(9), 1015–1019. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/3694