CCR5-utilizing (RS) and CXCR4-utilizing (X4) strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) have been studied intensively in vitro, but the pathologic correlates of such differential tropism in vivo remain incompletely defined. In this study, X4 and R5 strains of HIV-1 were compared for tropism and pathogenesis in SCID-hu Thy/Liv mice, an in vivo model of human thymopoiesis. The X4 strain NL4-3 replicates quickly and extensively in thymocytes in the cortex and medulla, causing significant depletion. In contrast, the R5 strain Ba-L initially infects stromal cells including macrophages in the thymic medulla, without any obvious pathologic consequence. After a period of 3 to 4 weeks, Ba-L infection slowly spreads through the thymocyte populations, occasionally culminating in thymocyte depletion after week 6 of infection. During the entire time of infection, Ba- L did not mutate into variants capable of utilizing CXCR4. Therefore, X4 strains are highly cytopathic after infection of the human thymus. In contrast, infection with R5 strains of HIV-1 can result in a two-phase process in vivo, involving apparently nonpathogenic replication in medullary stromal cells followed by cytopathic replication in thymocytes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of virology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science