Interactions between endothelial cells and HIV-1

Federico Bussolino, Stefania Mitola, Guido Serini, Giovanni Barillari, Barbara Ensoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelial cells (EC) participate in inflammatory and immune reactions by producing and responding to soluble mediators. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 profoundly alters the features of EC. In some anatomical districts, they are infected by the virus and may represent a relevant reservoir. During lymphomononuclear cell diapedesis, EC activate virus replication in crossing cells. Direct or indirect damage of EC is particularly relevant in central nervous system, where blood-brain barrier perturbation is pivotal in neuronal degeneration. The observed alterations of EC adhesive properties contribute in altered leukocyte traffic from blood to lymphoid organs and tissues and play a role in the onset of immune surveillance alteration. These alterations of EC functions are relevant for the general vasculopathy, which marks the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and in particular are instrumental in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma. Here we discuss the biological and molecular activation of EC in HIV-1 infection that represents the basis to understand the pathogenesis of HIV-1 associated vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-390
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Herpes virus 8
  • HIV infection
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Tat
  • Tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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