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J Virol. 1994 Mar;68(3):1903-12.

Murine AIDS is initiated in the lymph nodes draining the site of inoculation, and the infected B cells influence T cells located at distance, in noninfected organs.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The infection of cells which belong to the B-cell lineage is thought to be the primary event leading to the phenotypic and functional alterations seen in the murine AIDS (M. Huang, C. Simard, D. Kay, and P. Jolicoeur, J. Virol. 65:6562-6571, 1991). Using in situ hybridization, we studied the time course of the anatomic distribution of the murine AIDS-infected B cells in C57BL/6 mice inoculated intraperitoneally or in the foot pad with helper-free stocks of the defective murine AIDS virus. The local lymph nodes draining the injection site (the mediastinal or popliteal lymph nodes) were the primary organs in which infected B cells could be detected. From this initial site, the proliferating infected B cells were found to migrate progressively to most of the other lymph nodes and to the spleen. The bone marrow cells (containing the precursor B cells) were not found to be infected by the virus. These results suggest that the defective murine AIDS virus infects mature Ly-1- B cells present in lymph nodes. We compared the concanavalin A response of the T cells at an early time postinoculation, before all lymphoid organs are infiltrated with infected B cells. In lymphoid organs free of infected B cells, T cells were found to be hyperresponsive. In lymphoid organs in which infected B cells were present, T cells were hyporesponsive. These data suggest that infected B cells influence distant T cells, maybe by the release of a circulating factor or through another uninfected cell population activated by the infected B cells.

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