Unintegrated HIV-1 provides an inducible and functional reservoir in untreated and highly active antiretroviral therapy-treated patients

Petitjean, Gaël; Al Tabaa, Yassine; Tuaillon, Edouard; Mettling, Clement; Baillat, Vincent; Reynes, Jacques; Segondy, Michel; Vendrell, Jean Pierre
January 2007
Retrovirology;2007, Vol. 4, p60
Academic Journal
Background: The presence of HIV-1 preintegration reservoir was assessed in an in vitro experimental model of latent HIV-1 infection, and in patients treated or not with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Results: In resting CD4+ T lymphocytes latently infected in vitro with HIV-1, we demonstrated that the polyclonal activation induced a HIV-1 replication, which could be prevented by the use of an HIV-1 integrase inhibitor. We also showed that this reservoir was labile since the rescuable HIV-1-antigens production from unintegrated HIV-1 genomes declined over time. These data confirm that our experimental approach allows the characterization of a functional unintegrated HIV-1 reservoir. We then explored the preintegration reservoir in HIV-1-infected patients. This reservoir was detected in 11 of 12 untreated patients, in 4 of 10 sustained responders to HAART, and in one incomplete responder. This reservoir was also inducible, labile, and anti-HIV-1 integrase drug inhibited its induction. Finally, this reservoir was associated with the presence of spontaneous HIV-1 antigens producing CD4+ T cells in blood from 3 of 3 untreated patients and 2 of 2 sustained responders to HAART harboring a preintegration reservoir. Conclusion: This preintegration phase of HIV-1 latency could be a consequence of the ongoing viral replication in untreated patients and of a residual viral replication in treated patients.


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