Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) produces abortive infections of primary cultures of rabbit peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMBCs). Mitogen activation of rabbit PBMCs or the addition of exogenous cytokines to the cultures does not change the level of release of the early HIV core protein, p24, into the culture medium. The amount of p24 increases steadily and reaches peak levels about 7 days after infection. HIV-1-specific DNA env sequences are also detected in infected PBMCs. However, reverse transcription of RNA of samples from activated infected cultures to cDNA, followed by amplification by the polymerase chain reaction, revealed transcription of gag, but not env, regions, suggesting that HIV-1 infection of rabbit PBMC does not lead to the replication and maturation of complete HIV-1 virions. In addition, neither CPE nor lytic infection was observed in HIV-1-infected rabbit cells and infectivity could not be transferred from rabbit cells infected with HIV for up to 2 weeks to MT-2 or H9 indicator cell lines. In addition, no CPE was seen in long-term cultures of the HTLV-I-transformed rabbit cell line PLT-1441, after inoculation with HIV. It is concluded that primary rabbit PBMCs may be infectable by HIV-1 but are not permissive for production of infectious virus. This conclusion is consistent with the apparent long-term latent infection seen after inoculation of rabbits with HIV-1 or HIV-1-infected cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases