Targeting HIV-1 reservoirs in T cell subsets

Min Li, Marietta M. Budai, Min Chen, Jin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The HIV-1 reservoirs harbor the latent proviruses that are integrated into the host genome. It is a challenging task to eradicate the proviruses in order to achieve an HIV cure. We have described a strategy for the clearance of HIV-1 infection through selective elimination of host cells harboring replication-competent HIV (SECH), by inhibition of autophagy and promotion of apoptosis during viral re-activation. HIV-1 can infect various CD4+ T cell subsets, but it is not known whether the SECH approach is equally effective in targeting HIV-1 reservoirs in these different subsets in vivo. In a humanized mouse model, we found that treatments of HIV-1 infection by suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) led to the establishment of latent HIV reservoirs in naïve, central memory and effector memory T cells. Moreover, SECH treatments could clear latent HIV-1 reservoirs in these different T cell subsets of humanized mice. Co-culture studies showed that T cell subsets latently infected by HIV-1, but not uninfected bystander cells, were susceptible to cell death induced by SECH treatments. Our study suggests that the SECH strategy is effective for specific targeting of latent HIV-1 reservoirs in different T cell subsets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1087923
Pages (from-to)1087923
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Jan 20 2023


  • HIV-1
  • T cell subsets
  • anti-apoptotic molecules
  • autophagy
  • cell death
  • humanized mice
  • latency reversal agents
  • HIV Infections
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Virus Latency
  • Proviruses
  • HIV-1/physiology
  • Animals
  • Virus Replication
  • Mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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