HIV and TCell Numbers/Memory

Ralph M Bernstein ralph at
Mon Feb 20 17:12:34 EST 1995

Hi all,
I have a question for those thymic-t cell people out there that is actually
related to the recent t-cell number/ HIV questions posted.  

background:  the recent article in science or nature -i'm not sure-
hypothesized that HIV and Tcell production are fighting a long drawn out
battle where the HIV eventually wins.  eg the body produces tcells ALMOST
fast enough to keep even with the viral-induced killing.  

question: where the hell are those tcell being made?  everyone knows that
aafter or at puberty the thymus involudes-we are left with a very poor
education system.  w/out the thymic education we run the risk of
autoimmunity/ect.  so what goes on here?  it cannot be tcells that havenot
encountered antigen in the perhiphery, since they die in around 72h after
release if they dont encounter ag.  evenbetter, i dont think it could be
from expanding memory cells because they would be infected any way-like a
roachmotel, in hiv infected lymphnodes, tcells go in but they dont go out.  

i dont know the answer, and i'm frustrated that i dont know such a seemingly
basic immunological answer... everyone feel free to respond or email me. 
we've had some good discussions so far-dont let me down.  thx Ralph. 
Ralph M. Bernstein
Dept of Micro/Immuno
University of Arizona
Ph: 602 626 2585
Fx: 602 626 2100

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