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Virology Journal

, 3:74

First Online: 06 September 2006Received: 06 July 2006Accepted: 06 September 2006


Simian-Human immunodeficiency virus is a chimeric virus which, in rhesus macaques Macacca mulatta closely imitates immunodeficiency virus infection in human HIV. A relatively new way to study pathogenesis of viral infection is to study alterations in host gene expression induced by the virus. SHIV infection with certain strains does not result in clinical signs. We hypothesized that alterations in gene expression relating to the immune system would be present in SHIV-infected animals despite the lack of clinical signs. Splenic tissue from four adult male Indian-origin Rhesus monkeys serologically positive for non-pathogenic SHIV 89.6 was processed by cDNA microarray analysis. Results were compared with the corresponding outcome using splenic tissues from four unexposed adult male Rhesus monkeys. Subsequent gene analysis confirmed statistically significant variations between control and infected samples. Interestingly, SHIV-infected monkeys exhibited altered expression in genes related to apoptosis, signal transduction, T and B lymphocyte activation and importantly, to immune regulation. Although infected animals appeared asymptomatic, our study demonstrated that SHIV-infected monkeys cannot reliably be used in studies of other infectious agents as their baseline gene expression differs from that of normal Rhesus monkeys. The gene expression differences in SHIV-infected animals relative to uninfected animals offer additional clues to the pathogenesis of altered immune function in response to secondary infection.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1743-422X-3-74 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Erica E Carroll, Rasha Hammamieh contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Erica E Carroll - Rasha Hammamieh - Nabarun Chakraborty - Aaron T Phillips - Stacy-Ann M Miller - Marti Jett


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