Which cells does HIV infect?

David Peritt Peritt_d at a1.mscf.upenn.edu
Mon Apr 3 15:01:06 EST 1995

In article <3lnom1$6cb at milles.med.kyushu-u.ac.jp> Christopher Savoie,
savoie at bioreg.kyushu-u.ac.jp writes:
>It seems rather silly to suggest that CD8's which are derived 
>from CD4's would be UNINFECTED...

There is no evidence that I know of showing direct CD8 infectivity.  
CD4+8+ thymocytes can be infected but once they become single positive
they are presumably resistant.

>But that's OK...most others assume the same at present.  Because they
>think that the thymus goes on an early retirement after puberty...The
>CD4 folks have so many research dollars tied up in studying CD4 cells
>that they never really look at the CD8's, which control viral disease
>progression.  The CD8 folks see the CD8's as the unaffected saviors
>in the battle against disease progression, not as targets themselves.  

The affect of HIV on CD8 cells and vice versa is heavily studied and very

>CD4 and CD8 researchers tend to be mutually exclusive
>groups in immunology/virology.  And they've convinced each other
>that the CD8's are doing just fine until they suddenly drop dead
>at the onset of AIDS.

They do not drop dead at all.  In fact there are relatively normal levels
of CD8 but they may not be functioning properly and this is being
investigated with ernest.  Jay Levy's story for instance is interesting.

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