We demonstrate that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gag p24 protein is more readily detected in gut and lymph node tissues than in blood CD4+ T cells and correlates better with CD4 count during antiretroviral therapy (ART). Gut p24 levels also measurably decline with ART in natural controllers. During ART, gut p24 expression is more strongly associated both with HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell frequency and plasma soluble CD14 levels than gut HIV RNA expression. This study supports using gag p24 as a marker of HIV expression in HIV+ tissues to study effects of viral persistence and to monitor efficacy of treatment in HIV-based clearance studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Previously reported data  and additional work referenced in this manuscript were supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01 AI087145, K23 AI075985, K24 AI069994, R56 AI091573, R01 NS051132, R01 AI057020); National Cancer Institute (K23 CA157929); Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise (DARE) to Find a Cure (1U19AI096109, 1UM1AI126611?01); California HIV/AIDS Research Program (ID08-SF-004); American Foundation for AIDS Research (106710-40-RGRL, 107170-44-RGRL, 108073-50-RGRL); University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)/Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) (P30 AI027763); UCSF Clinical and Translational Research Institute Clinical Research Center (UL1 RR024131); Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (P30 MH62246); CFAR Network of Integrated Systems (R24 AI067039); and US Department of Veterans Affairs (1 IK2 CX000520-01, 5101BX001048).
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- HIV persistence
- fine needle aspirates
- gag p24
- lymph nodes
- rectal biopsy