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J Virol. 2000 Sep;74(17):8077-84.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 induces apoptosis in CD4(+) but not in CD8(+) T cells in ex vivo-infected human lymphoid tissue.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease is associated with massive death of CD4(+) T cells along with death and/or dysfunction of CD8(+) T cells. In vivo, both HIV infection per se and host factors may contribute to the death and/or dysfunction of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Progression of HIV disease is often characterized by a switch from R5 to X4 HIV type 1 (HIV-1) variants. In human lymphoid tissues ex vivo, it was shown that HIV infection is sufficient for CD4(+) T-cell depletion. Here we address the question of whether infection of human lymphoid tissue ex vivo with prototypic R5 or X4 HIV variants also depletes or impairs CD8(+) T cells. We report that whereas productive infection of lymphoid tissue ex vivo with R5 and X4 HIV-1 isolates induced apoptosis in CD4(+) T cells, neither viral isolate induced apoptosis in CD8(+) T cells. Moreover, in both infected and control tissues we found similar numbers of CD8(+) T cells and similar production of cytokines by these cells in response to phorbol myristate acetate or anti-CD3-anti-CD28 stimulation. Thus, whereas HIV-1 infection per se in human lymphoid tissue is sufficient to trigger apoptosis in CD4(+) T cells, the death of CD8(+) T cells apparently requires additional factors.

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