Which cells does HIV infect?

Louis J. Kawalek Jr. ljk at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu
Sun Apr 2 09:21:23 EST 1995

In article <leelab.187.0 at medsci.mbp.missouri.edu>,
leelab at medsci.mbp.missouri.edu (leelab) wrote:

> I know that HIV infects CD4+ cells through the gp120-CD4 interaction (or I 
> believe that *was* the story).
> So which other cells and, if known, through which molecules on both the 
> target cell and the virus.  
> I remember hearing/reading where CD8+ (single pos.) may be infected.

     I wouldn't think that CD8+ cells would be INfected, but they would
most certainly be AFfected.  CD8+ cells are the cytotoxic T-cells which
release perforin and other substances that cause holes in the membrane of
the foreign tissue.  However, CD4+ cells are Helper T-cells, which release
IL-2.  This initiates the differentiation and proliferation of cytotoxic T
cells.  Therefore, although I don't see a direct infection of CD8+ cells
with HIV, there numbers could be decreased by HIV infection to to a lack
of stimulation for their production.  Certainly, they would not become
elevated to levels normall y associated with viral infections.


* Louis J. Kawalek Jr.        *
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