Although most non-human primates, except the chimpanzee and the gibbon in vivo are not infectible by HIV-1, lymphocytes of several of these species can be infected by HIV-1 in vitro.

In order to investigate whether the in vitro infectibility of primate lymphocytes might be attributed to plasma membrane adaptation processes or to serum factors, we compared HIV-1 infectibility of cultivated peripheral blood lymphocytes of macaques and of baboons on day one and on day ten of cultivation. These data were correlated to plasma membrane lipid composition and membrane fluidity.

We found a correlation between increased HIV-1 in vitro infectibility and changes in plasma membrane lipid composition resulting in decreased membrane fluidity of cultured primate lymphocytes.

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