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Cell-associated HIV-1 messenger RNA and DNA in T-helper cell and monocytes in asymptomatic HIV-1-infected subjects on HAART plus an inactivated HIV-1 immunogen

Patterson, Bruce K.a; Carlo, Dennis J.b; Kaplan, Mark H.d; Marecki, Mariac; Pawha, Savitac; Moss, Ronald B.b

Basic Science: Original Papers

Objective: We examined the effect of an HIV-1-specific immune-based therapy on cell-associated HIV-1 DNA and RNA.

Design: Five HIV-1-infected subjects receiving HIV-1 immunogen plus HAART were compared with three HIV-1-infected subjects who received incomplete Freund‚s adjuvant (IFA) plus HAART.

Methods: Cell-associated HIV-1 RNA or DNA in lymphocytes and monocytes was determined using a dual immunophenotyping/in situ hybridization assay with or without in situ PCR amplification.

Results: Cell-associated HIV-1 RNA in CD4 cells correlated with plasma RNA overall. CD4, HIV-1 gag-pol messenger (m)RNA+ cells decreased in the immunogen plus HAART group compared with the IFA plus HAART group. Decreases in HIV-1 DNA+ CD4 cells were observed in the immunogen plus HAART compared with the IFA plus HAART group. Decreases in HIV-1 gag-pol mRNA+ monocytes were observed in the immunogen plus HAART group compared with the IFA plus HAART group. Consistent with the findings in CD4 cells, decreases in HIV-1 DNA+ monocytes were observed in the immunogen plus HAART group compared with the IFA plus HAART group.

Conclusions: These preliminary observations support the rationale for examining the combination of immune-based therapies and antiretroviral drugs for effective HIV-1 control.

From the aNorthwestern University Medical School, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Chicago, Illinois, the bImmune Response Corporation, Carlsbad, California, the cNorth Shore University Hospital and the dNorth Shore/LIJ Health System, Manhasset, New York, USA.

Correspondence to Dr. Bruce Patterson, Northwestern University, Dept. OB GYN, 333 E. Superior, Room 410, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. Tel: +1 (312) 926-0033; fax: +1 (312) 926-0367; e-mail: bpatters@nmh.org

Received: 9 March 1999; revised: 24 May 1999; accepted: 1 June 1999.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.