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Syncytium induction in primary CD4+ T-cell lines from normal donors by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates with non-syncytium-inducing genotype and phenotype in MT-2 cells



Syncytium induction in primary CD4+ T-cell lines from normal donors by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates with non-syncytium-inducing genotype and phenotype in MT-2 cells



Journal of Virology 69(11): 7099-7105



Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates classified as syncytium-inducing (SI) or non-SI (NSI) in the MT-2 T-cell line exhibit characteristic sequence differences in the V1-V2 and V3 regions of the env gene. Seven HIV-1 isolates were phenotyped as NSI or SI in the MT-2 cell line. Unexpectedly, all four NSI viruses induced large syncytia 4 to 8 days postinoculation in a panel of five primary CD4+ T-cell lines (including two clones) generated from the peripheral blood of normal donors by exposure to infectious HIV-1, inactivated HIV-1, or Epstein-Barr virus. The primary T-cell lines yielded neither HIV-1 provirus nor infectious HIV by PCR analysis or exhaustive coculture with phytohemagglutinin-treated blast cells. Three isolates (TC354, PK1, and PK2) were biologically cloned and retained their SI or NSI phenotypes in MT-2 and primary T-cell lines. The biologically cloned provirus DNA was also used to clone and sequence the relevant V2 and V3 regions of the env genes. The amino acid sequences of the V2 and V3 regions were characteristic of patterns already reported for the NSI, switch NSI, and SI phenotypes, respectively. This evidence precludes the possibility that these results were due to contamination of the NSI isolates with SI virus. The results unequivocally indicate that HIV-1 isolates with the NSI genotype and phenotype in MT-2 cells may actively induce syncytia in cloned CD4+ T cells in vitro and support the view that direct cytopathic effects may contribute to the steady decline in CD4+ T cells in asymptomatic HIV-1-seropositive patients without detectable SI virus.

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Accession: 009501506

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PMID: 7474129


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