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Gastrointestinal Tract as a Major Site of CD4+ T Cell Depletion and Viral Replication in SIV Infection

Science  17 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5362, pp. 427-431
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5362.427

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Abstract

Human and simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV and SIV) replicate optimally in activated memory CD4+ T cells, a cell type that is abundant in the intestine. SIV infection of rhesus monkeys resulted in profound and selective depletion of CD4+ T cells in the intestine within days of infection, before any such changes in peripheral lymphoid tissues. The loss of CD4+ T cells in the intestine occurred coincident with productive infection of large numbers of mononuclear cells at this site. The intestine appears to be a major target for SIV replication and the major site of CD4+ T cell loss in early SIV infection.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: alackner{at}warren.med.harvard.edu

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