We demonstrate mechanisms by which HIV-1 appears to facilitate its own infection in ex vivo-infected human lymphoid tissue. In this system, HIV-1 readily infects various CD4+ T cells, but productive viral infection was supported predominantly by activated T cells expressing either CD25 or HLA-DR or both (CD25/HLA-DR) but not other activation markers: There was a strong positive correlation (r = 0.64, P = .001) between virus production and the number of CD25+/HLA-DR+ T cells. HIV-1 infection of lymphoid tissue was associated with activation of both HIV-1-infected and uninfected (bystanders) T cells. In these tissues, apoptosis was selectively increased in T cells expressing CD25/HLA-DR and p24gag but not in cells expressing either of these markers alone. In the course of HIV-1 infection, there was a significant increase in the number of activated (CD25 +/HLA-DR+) T cells both infected and uninfected (bystander). By inducing T cells to express particular markers of activation that create new targets for infection, HIV-1 generates in ex vivo lymphoid tissues a vicious destructive circle of activation and infection. In vivo, such self-perpetuating cycle could contribute to HIV-1 disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology