Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 2004 Sep 20;200(6):749-59. Epub 2004 Sep 13.

CD4+ T cell depletion during all stages of HIV disease occurs predominantly in the gastrointestinal tract.

Author information

  • 1Human Immunology Section, Vaccine Research Center, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 40 Convent Dr., Room 3509, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The mechanisms underlying CD4(+) T cell depletion in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are not well understood. Comparative studies of lymphoid tissues, where the vast majority of T cells reside, and peripheral blood can potentially illuminate the pathogenesis of HIV-associated disease. Here, we studied the effect of HIV infection on the activation and depletion of defined subsets of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the blood, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and lymph node (LN). We also measured HIV-specific T cell frequencies in LNs and blood, and LN collagen deposition to define architectural changes associated with chronic inflammation. The major findings to emerge are the following: the GI tract has the most substantial CD4(+) T cell depletion at all stages of HIV disease; this depletion occurs preferentially within CCR5(+) CD4(+) T cells; HIV-associated immune activation results in abnormal accumulation of effector-type T cells within LNs; HIV-specific T cells in LNs do not account for all effector T cells; and T cell activation in LNs is associated with abnormal collagen deposition. Taken together, these findings define the nature and extent of CD4(+) T cell depletion in lymphoid tissue and point to mechanisms of profound depletion of specific T cell subsets related to elimination of CCR5(+) CD4(+) T cell targets and disruption of T cell homeostasis that accompanies chronic immune activation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center