Mechanisms of HIV-associated lymphocyte apoptosis

A. D. Badley, A. A. Pilon, A. Landay, D. H. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

249 Scopus citations


Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with a progressive decrease in CD4 T-cell number and a consequent impairment in host immune defenses. Analysis of T cells from patients infected with HIV, or of T cells infected in vitro with HIV, demonstrates a significant fraction of both infected and uninfected cells dying by apoptosis. The many mechanisms that contribute to HIV-associated lymphocyte apoptosis include chronic immunologic activation; gp120/160 ligation of the CD4 receptor; enhanced production of cytotoxic ligands or viral proteins by monocytes, macrophages, B cells, and CD8 T cells from HIV-infected patients that kill uninfected CD4 T cells; and direct infection of target cells by HIV, resulting in apoptosis. Although HIV infection results in T-cell apoptosis, under some circumstances HIV infection of resting T cells or macrophages does not result in apoptosis; this may be a critical step in the development of viral reservoirs. Recent therapies for HIV effectively reduce lymphoid and peripheral T-cell apoptosis, reduce viral replication, and enhance cellular immune competence; however, they do not alter viral reservoirs. Further understanding the regulation of apoptosis in HIV disease is required to develop novel immune-based therapies aimed at modifying HIV-induced apoptosis to the benefit of patients infected with HIV. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2951-2964
Number of pages14
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms of HIV-associated lymphocyte apoptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this