Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is often followed by a prolonged latent state, and mechanisms of maintaining latency or inducing expression from latency are active areas in AIDS research. It has been previously shown using a variety of viruses and cell systems that ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is capable of inducing the expression of latent viruses as well as augmenting the effects of acute viral infection. The ability of UV irradiation to affect HIV latency was investigated using a chronically HIV-infected, virus nonexpressing promonocytic cell line termed U1. After exposure to UV-C in doses ranging from 0.75 to 2.0 mJ/cm2, U1 cells were induced to express virus as assessed by detection of elevated reverse transcriptase activity and p24 antigen levels in culture supernatants of treated cells compared with unstimulated controls. In addition, immunofluorescence of cytospin preparations of UV-irradiated cells revealed a time-dependent increase in viral antigen production after UV stimulation. A similar increase in RT levels was seen after exposure of U1 cells to UV-B, although somewhat higher doses of UV-B (mJ) were required compared with UV-C (mJ). Viral induction by UV irradiation was associated with a drop in viability and a static growth curve, suggesting that a certain level of cellular stress was most likely necessary to initiate viral expression. The potential role of UV-induced cell damage with activation of a cellular “SOS” repair response is a probable explanation of the enhanced viral production observed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases