Apoptosis of bystander uninfected CD4+ T lymphocytes by neighboring HIV-infected cells is observed in cell culture and in lymphoid tissue of HIV-infected individuals. This study addresses whether antigen-presenting cells such as human macrophages mediate apoptosis of CD4+ T cells from HIV- infected individuals. Uninfected human macrophages, and to a larger degree, HIV-infected macrophages mediate apoptosis of T cells from HIV-infected, but not from uninfected control individuals. This macrophage-dependent killing targets CD4+, but not CD8+ T lymphocytes from HIV-infected individuals, and direct contact between macrophages and lymphocytes is required. Additional analyses indicated that the apoptosis-inducing ligands, FasL and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), mediate this macrophage-induced apoptosis of CD4+ T cells. These results support a role for macrophage-associated FasL and TNF in the selective depletion of CD4+ T cells in HIV-infected individuals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy