Separation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication from nef-mediated pathogenesis in the human thymus.


:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is frequently attenuated after long-term culture in vitro. The attenuation process probably involves mutations of functions required for replication and pathogenicity in vivo. Analysis of attenuated HIV-1 for replication and pathogenicity in vivo will help to define these functions. In this study, we examined the pathogenicity of an attenuated HIV-1 isolate in a laboratory worker accidentally exposed to a laboratory-adapted HIV-1 isolate. Using heterochimeric SCID-hu Thy/Liv mice as an in vivo model, we previously defined HIV-1 env determinants (HXB/LW) that reverted to replicate in vivo (L. Su, H. Kaneshima, M. L. Bonyhadi, R. Lee, J. Auten, A. Wolf, B. Du, L. Rabin, B. H. Hahn, E. Terwilliger, and J. M. McCune, Virology 227:46-52, 1997). Here we further demonstrate that HIV-1 replication in vivo can be separated from its pathogenic activity, in that the HXB/LW virus replicated to high levels in SCID-hu Thy/Liv mice, with no significant thymocyte depletion. Restoration of the nef gene in the recombinant HXB/LW genome restored its pathogenic activity, with no significant effect on HIV-1 replication in the thymus. Our results suggest that in vitro-attenuated HIV-1 lacks determinants for pathogenicity as well as for replication in vivo. Our data indicate that (i) the replication defect can be recovered in vivo by mutations in the env gene, without an associated pathogenic phenotype, and (ii) nef can function in the HXB/LW clone as a pathogenic factor that does not enhance HIV-1 replication in the thymus. Furthermore, the HXB/LW virus may be used to study mechanisms of HIV-1 nef-mediated pathogenesis in vivo.


J Virol


Journal of virology


Duus KM,Miller ED,Smith JA,Kovalev GI,Su L




Has Abstract


2001-04-01 00:00:00












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