Jan 2008 Blood

HIV-1 induced activation of CD4+ T cells creates new targets for HIV-1 infection in human lymphoid tissue ex vivo.


Biancotto A, Iglehart SJ, Vanpouille C, Condack CE, Lisco A, Ruecker E, Hirsch I, Margolis LB, Grivel JC


We demonstrate mechanisms by which HIV-1 appears to facilitate its own infection in ex vivo-infected human lymphoid tissue. In this system, HIV-1 readily infects various CD4+ T cells, but productive viral infection was supported predominantly by activated T cells expressing either CD25 or HLA-DR or both (CD25/HLA-DR) but not other activation markers: There was a strong positive correlation (r=0.64, P=.001) between virus production and the number of CD25+/HLA-DR+ T cells. HIV-1 infection of lymphoid tissue was associated with activation of both HIV-1-infected and uninfected (bystanders) T cells. In these tissues, apoptosis was selectively increased in T cells expressing CD25/HLA-DR and p24gag but not in cells expressing either of these markers alone. In the course of HIV-1 infection, there was a significant increase in the number of activated (CD25+/HLA-DR+) T cells both infected and uninfected (bystander). By inducing T cells to express particular markers of activation that create new targets for infection, HIV-1 generates in ex vivo lymphoid tissues a vicious destructive circle of activation and infection. In vivo, such self-perpetuating cycle could contribute to HIV-1 disease.

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