Six morphine-exposed and 3 control male Indian rhesus macaques were intravenously inoculated with mixture of SHIVKU, SHIV89.6P and SIV/17E-Fr. These animals were followed for a period of 56 weeks in order to determine CD4 and CD8 profile, viral loads in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), relative distribution of 3 pathogenic viruses in blood and brain, binding as well neutralizing antibody levels and cellular immune responses. Both morphine-exposed and control macaques showed a precipitous loss of CD4+ T cells; control animals, however, showed a greater tendency to recover these cells than did their morphine-exposed counterparts. The plasma and CSF viral loads were significantly higher in morphine-exposed group than those in the control group. Four morphine-exposed animals succumbed to SIV/SHIV-induced AIDS at week 18, 19, 20 and 51; post-infection with neurological disorders was found in 3 of the 4 animals. At the end of the 56-week observation period, 2 morphine-exposed and 3 control animals were still alive. All 3 viruses replicated in the blood of both morphine-exposed and control macaques, but the cerebral compartment showed a selection phenomenon; only SIV/17E-Fr and SHIVKU successfully crossed the blood brain barrier (BBB). The morphine-exposed macaques further favored viral migration through the blood brain barrier (BBB). SIV/17E-Fr crossed the BBB within 2 weeks in both morphine-exposed and control macaques, whereas SHIVKU crossed the BBB more rapidly in morphine-exposed than in control macaques. Three morphine-exposed macaques (euthanized at weeks 18, 19 and 20) did not develop cellular or humoral immune responses, whereas the other 3 morphine-exposed and 3 control macaques developed both cellular and humoral immune responses.
- Indian rhesus macaques
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