Effect of different donor cells on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication and selection in vitro

Alexander I. Spira, David D. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We sought to determine the effects of different host cells on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in vitro. First, 17 primary viruses of various phenotypes were examined for replicative capacity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 10 healthy donors. While the range of infection was variable over a 40-fold range, it was substantially less than that previously reported (L. M. Williams and M. W. Cloyd, Virology 184:723-728, 1991). In particular, no donor cells demonstrated total resistance to HIV-1 infection. We next cocultured PBMC from an HIV-1-infected patient with stimulated PBMC from three healthy donors to determine the effect of host cells on selection for a particular HIV-1 quasispecies. By using DNA sequencing, it was found that the dominant quasispecies (AD30-15) after culture was nearly identical in the cells of different donors. Furthermore, after 6 months in vivo, the patient developed a dominant proviral population in PBMC that was most closely related to the quasispecies preferentially selected in vitro, although this quasispecies was only a minor fraction of the sequences present earlier in PBMC. In subsequent biological characterizations, it was found that AD30-15 grew much better in PBMC and macrophages than did other related quasispecies. Hence, we conclude that the primary mechanism of in vitro selection for a particular HIV-1 variant in this case is mediated by the phenotypic properties of the virus and is less dependent on host cell origin. The findings reported here have important practical implications for studies of HIV-1 replication in primary cells derived from healthy donors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-429
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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