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Immunol Cell Biol. 1999 Feb;77(1):90-8.

Does HIV cause depletion of CD4+ T cells in vivo by the induction of apoptosis?

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AIDS Pathogenesis Research Unit, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, National Centre for HIV Virology Research, Fairfield, Victoria, Australia.


The central pathogenic feature of AIDS is the dramatic loss of CD4+ lymphocytes. Despite more than a decade of intense research, the exact mechanism by which HIV causes this is still not understood. A major model for T cell depletion, proposed originally by Ameison and Capron in a report published in 1991, is that HIV sensitizes CD4+ T cells for activation-induced apoptosis. The apoptotic model of T cell depletion is discussed, and experiments that address the questions of whether apoptosis is restricted to infected cells or 'bystander' T cells, and whether T cell apoptosis requires participation of separate HIV-infected haematopoietic cell populations, are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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