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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

The co-receptor signaling model of HIV-1 pathogenesis in peripheral CD4 T cells

Yuntao Wu

Author Affiliations

Department of Molecular and Microbiology, George Mason University, Manassas, VA 20110, USA

Retrovirology 2009, 6:41  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-6-41

Published: 1 May 2009

Abstract

HIV-mediated CD4 depletion is the hallmark of AIDS and is the most reliable predictor of disease progression. While HIV replication is associated with CD4 depletion in general, plasma viremia by itself predicts the rate of CD4 loss only minimally in untreated patients. To resolve this paradox, I hypothesize the existence of a subpopulation of R5X4-signaling viruses. I also suggest that the gradual evolution and emergence of this subpopulation are largely responsible for the slow depletion of peripheral CD4 T cells.