Objective: Resting CD4+ T cells are major reservoirs of latent HIV-1 infection, and may be formed during the early phase of the infection. Although CCR5-tropic (R5) HIV-1 is highly transmissible during the early phase, newly infected individuals have usually been exposed to a mixture of R5 and CXCR4-tropic (X4) viruses, and X4 viral DNA is also detectable in the host. Our aim was to identify which subsets of resting CD4+ T cells contribute to forming the latent reservoir in the presence of both X4 and R5 viruses. Results: Primary resting CD4+ naïve T (TN) cells, CCR5- memory T (TM) cells, and CCR5+ TM cells isolated by flow cytometry were infected simultaneously with X4 and R5 HIV-1, which harbored different reporter genes, and were cultured in the resting condition. Flow cytometry at 3 days post-infection demonstrated that X4 HIV-1+ cells were present in all three subsets of cells, whereas R5 HIV-1+ cells were present preferentially in CCR5+ TM cells, but not in TN cells. Following CD3/CD28-mediated activation at 3 days post-infection, numbers of R5 HIV-1+ cells and X4 HIV-1+ cells increased significantly only in the CCR5+ TM subset, suggesting that it provides a major reservoir of replication-competent, latently infected viruses.
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