Exploiting the power of high-density gene arrays, the simultaneous expression analysis of 5600 cellular genes was executed on proliferating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from three normal human donors that were infected in vitro with the T cell tropic laboratory strain of HIV-1, RF. Profiles of expressed genes were assessed at 1, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hr postinfection and compared with those of matched uninfected PBMCs. Viral infection resulted in an overall increase in the number of genes expressed with peaks of expression at 1, 12, and 48 hr postinfection. Functional clustering of genes whose expression level in infected PBMCs varied by 2-fold or greater from levels in the controls indicated that cellular activation markers, proteins associated with immune cell function and with transcription and translation, exhibited increased expression subsequent to viral infection. Gene families exhibiting a decline in gene expression were confined to the 72 hr time point and included genes associated with catabolism and a subset of genes involved with cell signaling and synthetic pathways. Self-organizing map (SOM) cluster analysis identified temporal patterns of coordinated gene expression in infected PBMCs including genes associated with the immune response, the cytoskeleton, and ribosomal subunit structural proteins required for protein synthesis.