Which cells does HIV infect?

Christopher Savoie savoie at bioreg.kyushu-u.ac.jp
Tue Apr 4 01:50:51 EST 1995

David Peritt <Peritt_d at a1.mscf.upenn.edu> wrote:

> 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.

Excuse me, but please take your premise to its logical conclusion. If
the double positives are infected (they are), then they will never 
become fully functional single positive CD8's in the first place.

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

Actually, I have seen many studies on the _role_ of CD8's in HIV infection
and the changing efficacy against certain HIV class I epitopes over
time in carriers, but nothing much that lends an explainationto
the eventual  demise of class I restricted immunity at the end 
stage of infection.  And nothing that explains how the infected 
precursers are cleared.  

> 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.

Tell that to AIDS patients with runaway EBV lymphomas that are
very easily controlled when one has a nice set of functional
CD8 effectors.  Or Karposi's...or HBV...or others...Sorry, but
CD4 cells don't kill viruses.  They may help to clear them, but
they don't kill infected cells.  CD8's are definately impaired
by HIV and probably because the precurser population eventually 
runs out.  That precurser population IS INFECTED, so why is it necessary
to argue otherwise?  Their overall levels may be "normal" until
the end, but high CD8 counts are a  given during clonal proliferation
against a viral infection.  

Anyways, how does Levy contradict what I say about a CD4CD8 dp precurser
population being a prime target for HIV infection and hence
CD8 dysfunction/death?


Christopher J. Savoie
Department of Genetics
Medical Institute of Bioregulation
Kyushu University
Fukuoka, Japan


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