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Arch Virol. 1997;142(9):1771-85.

Fas ligand-mediated depletion of CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes by monomeric HIV-1-gp120.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Tokai Univesity School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


In order to determine in what condition and by what mechanism gp 120 can deplete not only CD4 but also CD8 T cells, an in vitro system was established in which peripheral blood lymphocytes from healthy donors were treated with recombinant gp 120. We found that gp 120 can deplete both CD4 and CD8 T cells when they have recently been activated and are exposed to IL-2-deficient conditions. Bioassay of the Fas ligand (FasL) demonstrated augmented expression and release of soluble FasL by CD4 T cells in the supernatant of this culture. The administration of anti-FasL mAb and anti-Fas mAb, both of which exhibit neutralizing activity, completely abolished the depletion of these two T cell populations in culture. Based on these findings, we concluded that FasL depletes Fas antigen expressing CD4 and CD8 T cells by programmed cell death.

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