In vitro studies of HIV-1 infection in thymic lymphocytes: A putative role of the thymus in AIDS pathogenesis

A. De Rossi, M. L. Calabro, M. Panozzo, D. Bernardi, B. Caruso, G. Tridente, L. Chieco-Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To ascertain whether thymic lymphocytes represent suitable targets for HIV-1 infection, we infected thymic cell suspensions from normal donors with HIV-1 (HTLV-IIIB strain). We found that, in vitro, thymic lymphocytes are readily infected and highly permissive for HIV-1 replication. In addition, immature cells with the CD4+/CD8+ phenotyp most likely the precusors of mature circulating CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, showed a marked susceptibility to viral infection and replication. These findings suggest that thymus infection may play a triggering role in the pathogenesis of AIDS, particularly in pediatric cases, and may partially explain the lack of restoration of peripheral CD4+ lymphocytes killed by HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology

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