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Virologica Sinica, 24 (6) : 501-508, 2009
Review
Driving Forces of AIDS Pathogenesis: Massive CD4+ T Lymphocyte Depletion and Abnormal Immune Activation*
State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
 Correspondence: qhu@wh.iov.cn
(402.74KB)  
Abstract

The occurrence of massive CD4+ T cell depletion is one of the most prominent characteristics of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection during acute phase, resulting in unrestorable destruction to the immune system. The infected host undergoes an asymptomatic period lasting several years with low viral load and ostensibly healthy status, which is presumably due to virus-specific adaptive immune responses. In the absence of therapy, an overwhelming majority of cases develop to AIDS within 8-10 years of latent infection. In this review, we discuss the roles in AIDS pathogenesis played by massive CD4+ T lymphocytes depletion in gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) during acute infection and abnormal immune activation emerging in the later part of chronic phase.

Received: 9 Jun 2009  Accepted: 21 Apr 2009  Published online: 5 Dec 2009
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