Acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection represents a period of intense immune perturbation and activation of the host immune system. Study of the eclipse and viral expansion phases of infection is difficult in humans, but studies in nonprogressive and progressive nonhuman primate (NHP) infection models can provide significant insight into critical events occurring during this time. Cytokines, chemokines, and other soluble immune factors were measured in longitudinal samples from rhesus macaques infected with either SIVmac251 (progressive infection) or SIVmac239Δnef (attenuated/nonprogressive infection) and from African green monkeys infected with SIVsab9315BR (nonpathogenic infection). Levels of acute-phase peak viral replication were highest in SIVmac251 infection but correlated positively with viremia at 3 months postinfection in all three infection models. SIVmac251 infection was associated with stronger corresponding acute-phase cytokine/chemokine responses than the nonprogressive infections. The production of interleukin 15 (IL-15), IL-18, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), granulocyte colony- stimulating factor (G-CSF), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP- 1β), and serum amyloid A protein (SAA) during acute SIVmac251 infection, but not during SIVmac239Δnef or SIVsab9315BR infection, correlated positively with chronic viremia at 3 months postinfection. Acute-phase production of MCP-1 correlated with viremia at 3 months postinfection in both nonprogressive infections. Finally, a positive correlation between the acute-phase area under the curve (AUC) for IL-6 and soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and chronic viremia was observed only for the nonprogressive infection models. While we observed dynamic acute inflammatory immune responses in both progressive and nonprogressive SIV infections, the responses in the nonprogressive infections were not only lower in magnitude but also qualitatively different biomarkers of disease progression.
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