In order to determine in what condition and by what mechanism gp 120 can deplete not only CD4 but also CD8 T cells, an in vitro system was established in which peripheral blood lymphocytes from healthy donors were treated with recombinant gp 120. We found that gp 120 can deplete both CD4 and CD8 T cells when they have recently been activated and are exposed to IL-2-deficient conditions. Bioassay of the Fas ligand (FasL) demonstrated augmented expression and release of soluble FasL by CD4 T cells in the supernatant of this culture. The administration of anti-FasL mAb and anti-Fas mAb, both of which exhibit neutralizing activity, completely abolished the depletion of these two T cell populations in culture. Based on these findings, we concluded that FasL depletes Fas antigen expressing CD4 and CD8 T cells by programmed cell death.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1997
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