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Human Inrniimodefidency Virus Type 1 Infection of Human Uterine Epithelial Cells: Viral Shedding and Cell Contact-Mediated Infectivity

Susana N. Asin, Dunja Wildt-Perinic, Sarah I. Mason, Alexandra L. Howell, Charles R. Wira and Michael W. Fanger
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 187, No. 10 (May 15, 2003), pp. 1522-1533
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30085632
Page Count: 12
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Human Inrniimodefidency Virus Type 1 Infection of Human Uterine Epithelial Cells: Viral Shedding and Cell Contact-Mediated Infectivity
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Abstract

We examined the mechanism of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection of human uterine epithelial cells to gain a clearer understanding of the events by which HIV-1 infects cells within the female reproductive tract. We demonstrated that these cells can be productively infected by HIV-1 and that infection is associated with viral RNA reverse transcription, DNA transcription, and secretion of infectious virus. Levels of viral DNA and secreted virus decreased gradually after infection. Moreover, virus released by the uterine epithelial cells shortly after infection was able to infect human T cell lines, but virus released later did not. In contrast, human CD^ T cell lines were infected after cocultivation with epithelial cells at both early and late stages of infection. These data demonstrated that HIV-1 infects human epithelial cells of upper reproductive tract origin and that productive viral infection of epithelial cells may be an important mechanism of transmission of HIV-1 infection in women.

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