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1.  Preclinical Evaluation of HIV Eradication Strategies in the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Rhesus Macaque: A Pilot Study Testing Inhibition of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase 
Abstract
Even in the setting of maximally suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV persists indefinitely. Several mechanisms might contribute to this persistence, including chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction. In this study, we have explored a preclinical model for the evaluation of potential interventions that might serve to eradicate or to minimize the level of persistent virus. Given data that metabolic products of the inducible enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygeanse (IDO) might foster inflammation and viral persistence, chronically simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected, ART-treated rhesus macaques were treated with the IDO inhibitor 1-methyl tryptophan (1mT). Orally administered 1mT achieved targeted plasma levels, but did not impact tryptophan metabolism or decrease viral RNA or DNA in plasma or in intestinal tissues beyond levels achieved by ART alone. Animals treated with 1mT showed no difference in the levels of T cell activation or differentiation, or in the kinetics or magnitude of viral rebound following cessation of ART. Notwithstanding these negative results, our observations suggest that the chronically SIV-infected rhesus macaque on suppressive ART can serve as a tractable model in which to test and to prioritize the selection of other potential interventions designed to eradicate HIV in vivo. In addition, this model might be used to optimize the route and dose by which such interventions are administered and the methods by which their effects are monitored.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0162
PMCID: PMC3552181  PMID: 22924680
2.  Short Communication: HIV+ Viremic Slow Progressors Maintain Low Regulatory T Cell Numbers in Rectal Mucosa but Exhibit High T Cell Activation 
Abstract
Viremic slow progressors (VSP) are a rare subset of HIV-infected persons who exhibit slow immunologic progression despite high viremia. The mechanisms associated with this slow progression remain to be defined. Clinical characteristics of VSP are similar to those of natural hosts for simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), such as sooty mangabeys (SM) and African green monkeys (AGM), who maintain near-normal CD4 counts despite high-level viremia but maintain low immune activation. Immune activation is a powerful predictor of disease progression, and we hypothesized that low immune activation might also explain the VSP phenotype. Using multiparameter flow cytometry, we assessed levels of T cell activation and regulatory T cells (Treg) in blood and rectal mucosa of VSP, typical progressors, virologic controllers, and seronegative controls. We also assessed Treg function and CD4 T cell proliferative capacity in VSP. Contrary to expectations, we found that VSP subjects have high levels of T cell activation in the gastrointestinal mucosa. The ratio of Treg to CD3+ T cells in the mucosa of VSP was relatively low, potentially contributing to increased immune activation. Nonetheless, CD4+CD25– T cells isolated from these individuals displayed a comparatively weak proliferative response to anti-CD3 stimulation. These data reveal that the VSP phenotype is associated with elevated markers of mucosal immune activation and low numbers of mucosal Treg, suggesting that factors other than immune activation account for this phenotype.
doi:10.1089/aid.2012.0268
PMCID: PMC3537318  PMID: 22998457
3.  Immune Activation in the Pathogenesis of Treated Chronic HIV Disease: A Workshop Summary 
Abstract
With the advent of highly effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has become a chronic disease rather than a death sentence. Nevertheless, effectively treated individuals have a higher than normal risk for developing noninfectious comorbidities, including cardiovascular and renal disease. Although traditional risk factors of aging as well as treatment toxicity contribute to this risk, many investigators consider chronic HIV-associated inflammation a significant factor in such end-organ disease. Despite effective viral suppression, chronic inflammation persists at levels higher than in uninfected people, yet the stimuli for the inflammation and the mechanism by which inflammation persists and promotes disease pathology remain incompletely understood. This critical gap in scientific understanding complicates and hampers effective decision making about appropriate medical intervention. To better understand the mechanism(s) of chronic immune activation in treated HIV disease, three questions need answers: (1) what is the cause of persistent immune activation during treated HIV infection, (2) what are the best surrogate markers of chronic immune activation in this setting, and (3) what therapeutic intervention(s) could prevent or reverse this process? The NIH sponsored and convened a meeting to discuss the state of knowledge concerning these questions and the best course for developing effective therapeutic strategies. This report summarizes the findings of that NIH meeting.
doi:10.1089/aid.2011.0213
PMCID: PMC3332368  PMID: 21854232
4.  Characterization of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Populations Containing CXCR4-Using Variants from Recently Infected Individuals 
Abstract
We screened 150 individuals from two recent seroconverter cohorts and found that six (4%) had CXCR4-using viruses. Clonal analysis of these six individuals, along with a seventh individual identified during clinical care as a recent seroconverter, revealed the presence of both X4- and dual-tropic variants in these recently infected adults. The ability of individual CXCR4-using variants to infect cells expressing CD4/CXCR4 or CD4/CCR5 varied dramatically. These data demonstrate that virus populations in some newly infected individuals can consist of either heterogeneous populations containing both CXCR4-using and CCR5-tropic viruses, or homogeneous populations containing only CXCR4-using viruses. The presence of CXCR4-using viruses at early stages of infection suggests that testing for viral tropism before using CCR5 antagonists may be important even in persons with known recent infection. The presence of CXCR4-using viruses in a subset of newly infected individuals could impact the efficacies of vaccine and microbicide strategies that target CCR5-tropic viruses.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0252
PMCID: PMC2827835  PMID: 19678765
5.  Delaying a Treatment Switch in Antiretroviral-Treated HIV Type 1-Infected Patients with Detectable Drug-Resistant Viremia Does Not Have a Profound Effect on Immune Parameters: AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study A5115 
Some patients are unable to achieve and maintain an undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA level with combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) and are therefore maintained on a partially suppressive regimen. To determine the immune consequences of continuing ART despite persistent viremia, we randomized 47 ART-treated individuals with low to moderate plasma HIV-1 RNA levels (200–9999 copies/ml) to either an immediate switch in therapy or a delayed switch (when plasma HIV-1 RNA became ≥10,000 copies/ml). After 48 weeks of follow-up, naive and memory CD4+ T cell percents were comparable in the two groups. The proportion of subjects with a lymphocyte proliferative response to Candida, Mycobacterium avium- intracellulare complex, or HIV-gag was also not significantly different at week 48. Delaying a treatment switch in patients with partial virologic suppression and stable CD4+ T cells does not have profound effects on immune parameters.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0200
PMCID: PMC2755543  PMID: 19239354
6.  Delaying a Treatment Switch in Antiretroviral-Treated HIV Type 1-Infected Patients with Detectable Drug-Resistant Viremia Does Not Have a Profound Effect on Immune Parameters: AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study A5115 
Abstract
Some patients are unable to achieve and maintain an undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA level with combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) and are therefore maintained on a partially suppressive regimen. To determine the immune consequences of continuing ART despite persistent viremia, we randomized 47 ART-treated individuals with low to moderate plasma HIV-1 RNA levels (200–9999 copies/ml) to either an immediate switch in therapy or a delayed switch (when plasma HIV-1 RNA became ≥10,000 copies/ml). After 48 weeks of follow-up, naive and memory CD4+ T cell percents were comparable in the two groups. The proportion of subjects with a lymphocyte proliferative response to Candida, Mycobacterium avium- intracellulare complex, or HIV-gag was also not significantly different at week 48. Delaying a treatment switch in patients with partial virologic suppression and stable CD4+ T cells does not have profound effects on immune parameters.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0200
PMCID: PMC2755543  PMID: 19239354

Results 1-6 (6)