Morphological and phenotypical changes in EBV positive lymphoblastoid cells infected by HIV-1

A. De Rossi, M. L. Calabro, E. D'Andrea, M. Panozzo, D. Saggiori, F. Mammano, S. Roncella, M. Ferrarini, L. Chieco-Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) infects CD4+ T lymphocytes and various other cell types, including B cells. Since HIV-1 seropositive individuals have high numbers of B cells carrying Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), and are at high risk for development of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases, we studied the mode of HIV-1 infection in four EBV-positive lymphohlastoid B-cell lines (LCLs) as well as some molecular and biological features of the B cells infected by both viruses. We found that LCL cells were successfully infected in vitro by HIV-1, despite the lack of CD4 antigen expression on the cell membrane. LCL cells displayed a persistent, productive, and non-cytopathic infection. Moreover, HIV-1 infection induced reactivation of EBV latent genomes in one cell line. Following HIV-1 infection, LCL cells showed a decrease in B-cell activation markers CD23 and CD39, and an increase in CD10 immature B-cell antigen. Not all cells in each LCL expressed HIV-1 antigens, but all CD10+ cells also co-expressed the HIV-1 envelope protein gp 120. Furthermore, HIV-1 infected LCL cells grew as disperse suspensions, and formed more agar colonies than control, non-HIV-1-infected LCLs. These findings raise the possibility that HIV-1 might play a role in EBV reactivation, and in B-cell lymphoma pathogenesis in AIDS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology


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