Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-encoded Tat provides transcriptional activation critical for efficient HIV-1 replication by interacting with cyclin T1 and recruiting P-TEFb to efficiently elongate the nascent HIV transcript. Tat-mediated transcriptional activation in mice is precluded by species-specific structural differences that prevent Tat interaction with mouse cyclin T1 and severely compromise HIV-1 replication in mouse cells. We investigated whether transgenic mice expressing human cyclin T1 under the control of a murine CD4 promoter/enhancer cassette that directs gene expression to CD4+ T lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages (hu-cycT1 mice) would display Tat responsiveness in their CD4-expressing mouse cells and selectively increase HIV-1 production in this cellular population, which is infected primarily in HIV-1-positive individuals. To this end, we crossed hu-cycT1 mice with JR-CSF transgenic mice carrying the full-length HIV-1 JR-CSF provirus under the control of the endogenous HIV-1 long terminal repeat and demonstrated that human cyclin T1 expression is sufficient to support Tat-mediated transactivation in primary mouse CD4 T lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages and increases in vitro and in vivo HIV-1 production by these stimulated cells. Increased HIV-1 production by CD4+ T lymphocytes was paralleled with their specific depletion in the peripheral blood of the JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice, which increased over time. In addition, increased HIV-1 transgene expression due to human cyclin T1 expression was associated with increased lipopolysaccharide-stimulated monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 production by JR-CSF mouse monocytes/macrophages in vitro. Therefore, the JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice should provide an improved mouse system for investigating the pathogenesis of various aspects of HIV-1-mediated disease and the efficacies of therapeutic interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science