Intrarectal transmission, systemic infection, and CD4+ T cell depletion in humanized mice infected with HIV-1

Zhifeng Sun, Paul W. Denton, Jacob D. Estes, Florence A. Othieno, Bangdong L. Wei, Anja K. Wege, Michael W. Melkus, Angela Padgett-Thomas, Mary Zupancic, Ashley T. Haase, J. Victor Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Intrarectal infection between men who have sex with men represents a predominant form of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission in developed countries. Currently there are no adequate small animal models that recapitulate intrarectal HIV transmission. Here we demonstrate that human lymphocytes generated in situ from hematopoietic stem cells reconstitute the gastrointestinal tract of humanized mice with human CD4+ T cells rendering them susceptible to intrarectal HIV transmission. HIV infection after a single intrarectal inoculation results in systemic infection with depletion of CD4+ T cells in gut-associated lymphoid tissue and other pathologic sequela that closely mimics those observed in HIV infected humans. This novel model provides the basis for the development and evaluation of novel approaches aimed at immune reconstitution of human gut-associated lymphoid tissue and for the development, testing, and implementation of microbicides to prevent intrarectal HIV-1 transmission. JEM

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-714
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 16 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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