Decreases in unintegrated hiv dna are associated with antiretroviral therapy in aids patients

R. E. Dickover, R. M. Donovan, E. Goldstein, S. H. Cohen, V. Bolton, R. G. Huth, G. Liu, J. R. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Summary: Better markers are needed to monitor the efficacy of antiretroviral drugs in persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We investigated the effects of zidovudine (ZDV) and dideoxycytidine (ddC) on the presence of unintegrated HIV-1 DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from AIDS patients. DNA was extracted from PBMCs and separated into low molecular weight (unintegrated) and high molecular weight (integrated) chromosomal fractions. These DNA fractions were then amplified by a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the amount and percentage of unintegrated HIV DNA were determined. Very high levels of unintegrated HIV DNA were found in AIDS patients not receiving treatment with ZDV or ddC (median = 95% unintegrated HIV DNA). In contrast, most patients who had received 4 or more weeks of antiretroviral therapy had lower levels of unintegrated HIV DNA (median = 30% unintegrated HIV DNA for patients receiving ZDV). Paired samples taken from five patients before and after therapy showed a striking reduction in the percentage of unintegrated HIV DNA. The decrease in the proportion of unintegrated HIV DNA in AIDS patients was due to both a reduction in the copy number of unintegrated HIV DNA and an increase in the copy number of integrated HIV DNA. Thus, measurements of unintegrated and integrated HIV DNA may be useful in providing objective assessments of the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • DdC
  • HIV
  • PCR
  • Unintegrated HIV-1 DNA
  • Zidovudine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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