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.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Type Germinal Center Fluorescence Activate Cell Sorting Nest Polymerase Chain Reaction Proviral Load
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