Follicular Dendritic Cells (FDC) are Not Productively Infected with HIV-1 in Vivo
During HIV-1 infection a progredient destruction of FDC is generally observed1. By electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization high amounts of HIV-1 particles and HIV-1 antigen can be detected on the network of FDC, even in the early phase of the infection. For long periods of time, HIV-1 particles persist in the germinal centers. A part of these particles may be still infectious and T helper cells gain infection, when they invade the germinal centers2. Intracellular virus particles in FDC or budding from FDC have been observed in rare occasions3,4, but others could not confirm a productive infection of FDC by electron microscope5. The massive staining of the FDC network for HIV-RNA in in situ hybridization has been interpreted as a productive infection of FDC6. Yet, a clear distinction between trapped antigen-antibody complexes and a possible production of HIV-1 by FDC is difficult. We investigated whether or not the destruction of FDC is due to HIV-1 infection in vivo. FDC were isolated by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) or fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) from lymph nodes of five HIV-1 infected patients. In the MACS enriched cellfraction HIV-1 RNA and HIV-1 particles were detected by in situ hybridization and electron microscopy. The proviral load was detected in FACS purified FDC.
KeywordsFormaldehyde Agarose Germinal Explosive Capron
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