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Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (MVC) may exert an HIV-1 latency reversal effect. This study aimed at defining MVC-mediated induction of HIV-1 in three cell line latency models and in CD4 T cells from six patients with suppressed viraemia. HIV-1 induction was evaluated in TZM-bl cells by measuring HIV-1 LTR-driven luciferase expression, and in ACH-2 and U1 latently infected cell lines by measuring cell-free (CFR) and cell-associated (CAR) HIV-1 RNA by qPCR. NF-B p65 was quantified in nuclear extracts by immunodetection. In CD4 T cells, CAR, CFR and cell-associated DNA (CAD) were quantified at baseline and 1–7–14 days post-induction (T1, T7, T14). At T7 and T14, the infectivity of the CD4 T cells co-cultured with MOLT-4/CCR5 target cells was evaluated in the TZM-bl assay (TZA). Results were expressed as fold activation (FA) with respect to untreated cells. No LTR activation was observed in TZM-bl cells at any MVC concentration. NF-B activation was only modestly upregulated (1.6±0.4) in TZM-bl cells with 5 µM MVC. Significant FA of HIV-1 expression was only detected at 80 µM MVC, namely on HIV-1 CFR in U1 (3.1±0.9; =0.034) and ACH-2 cells (3.9±1.4; =0.037). CFR was only weakly stimulated at 20 µM in ACH-2 (1.7±1.0 FA) cells and at 5 µM in U1 cells (1.9±0.5 FA). Although no consistent pattern of MVC-mediated activation was observed in experiments, substantial FA values were detected sparsely on individual samples with different parameters. Notably, in one sample, MVC stimulated all parameters at T7 (2.3±0.2 CAD, 6.8±3.7 CAR, 18.7±16.7 CFR, 7.3±0.2 TZA). In conclusion, MVC variably induces HIV-1 production in some cell line models not previously used to test its latency reversal potential. In CD4 T cells, MVC may exert patient-specific HIV-1 induction; however, clinically relevant patterns, if any, remain to be defined.

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2020-10-13
2020-12-01
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