Programmed death of T cells in HIV-1 infection

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Science  10 Jul 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5067, pp. 217-219
DOI: 10.1126/science.1352911


In human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, functional defects and deletion of antigen-reactive T cells are more frequent than can be explained by direct viral infection. On culturing, both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals died as a result of programmed cell death (apoptosis). Apoptosis was enhanced by activation with CD3 antibodies. Programmed cell death, associated with impaired T cell reactivity, may thus be responsible for the deletion of reactive T cells that contributes to HIV-induced immunodeficiency.

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