Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is often accompanied by infection with other pathogens that affect the clinical course of HIV disease. Here, we identified another virus, human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) that interferes with HIV type 1 (HIV-1) replication in human lymphoid tissue, where critical events of HIV disease occur. Like the closely related HHV-6, HHV-7 suppresses the replication of CCR5-tropic (R5) HIV-1 in coinfected blocks of human lymphoid tissue. Unlike HHV-6, which affects HIV-1 by upregulating RANTES, HHV-7 did not upregulate any CCR5-binding chemokine. Rather, the inhibition of R5 HIV-1 by HHV-7 was associated with a marked downregulation of CD4, the cellular receptor shared by HHV-7 and HIV-1. HHV-7-induced CD4 downregulation was sufficient for HIV-1 inhibition, since comparable downregulation of CD4 with cyclotriazadisulfonamide, a synthetic macrocycle that specifically modulates expression of CD4, resulted in the suppression of HIV infection similar to that seen in HHV-7-infected tissues. In contrast to R5 HIV-1, CXCR4-tropic (X4) HIV-1 was only minimally suppressed by HHV-7 coinfection. This selectivity in suppression of R5 and X4 HIV-1 is explained by a suppression of HHV-7 replication in X4- but not in R5-coinfected tissues. These results suggest that HIV-1 and HHV-7 may interfere in lymphoid tissue in vivo, thus potentially affecting the progression of HIV-1 disease. Knowledge of the mechanisms of interaction of HIV-1 with HHV-7, as well as with other pathogens that modulate HIV-1 replication, may provide new insights into HIV pathogenesis and lead to the development of new anti-HIV therapeutic strategies.
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