Infectious SIV resides in adipose tissue and induces metabolic defects in chronically infected rhesus macaques

Jacob Couturier, Neeti Agarwal, Pramod N. Nehete, Wallace B. Baze, Michael A. Barry, K. Jagannadha Sastry, Ashok Balasubramanyam, Dorothy E. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: HIV reservoirs pose major challenges to viral eradication. The main cellular reservoirs include CD4 T cells and macrophages, whereas anatomic reservoirs are thought to be primarily lymphoid tissues. Adipose tissue represents a potentially important non-lymphoid location for HIV replication and persistence because the stromal-vascular-fraction (AT-SVF) contains activated innate and adaptive immune cells that increase in number during infections, obesity, and chronic inflammation. Results: Adipose tissue from two groups of SHIV-SF162p3-infected (~4 weeks acute infection) or SIVmac251-infected (~38 weeks chronic infection) rhesus macaques (N = 8 for each group) were studied for immune cell content, viral infectiousness, and metabolic health. The AT-SVF cells from SHIV-infected monkeys contained abundant memory CD4 and CD8 T cells, with fewer NKT cells and macrophages, and no B cells. Proviral DNA (Gag and Env) was readily detectable by nested PCR in AT-SVF cells from multiple adipose depots (subcutaneous and visceral) of acutely infected monkeys, but mostly from visceral fat. More importantly, viral outgrowth assays using input CD4 T cells derived from AT-SVF cells or peripheral blood of chronically infected monkeys resulted in robust replication of infectious virus from both AT-SVF and peripheral blood CD4 T cells. Chronically infected monkeys also experienced adipocyte dysfunction (suppression of major adipogenic genes) and systemic dyslipidemia (decreased serum total cholesterol and free fatty acids, and increased triglycerides), similar to metabolic abnormalities of HIV patients. Conclusions: Adipose tissues of SIV-infected rhesus macaques become major compartments for infected immune cells, which in turn induce defects in adipose tissue metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 27 2016


  • Adipose tissue
  • CD4 T cells
  • HIV latency
  • HIV reservoirs
  • Rhesus macaques
  • SIV reservoirs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Infectious SIV resides in adipose tissue and induces metabolic defects in chronically infected rhesus macaques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this