HIV-gp120 induced cell death in hematopoietic progenitor CD34+ cells

N. K. Banda, J. A. Tomczak, E. J. Shpall, J. Sipple, R. K. Akkina, K. S. Steimer, L. Hami, T. J. Curiel, G. Singer Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Haematologic abnormalities accompany the majority of HIV-1 infections. At present it is unclear whether this is due directly to HIV infection of hematopoietic progenitor cells, or whether this results from an indirect mechanism secondary to HIV infection. Here we provide evidence for an indirect mechanism, whereby hematopoietic progenitor cells undergo HIV gp120-induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) even in the absence of HIV infection. Freshly isolated, purified human hematopoietic progenitor CD34+ cells, derived from both umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, co-expressed the CD4 marker at low density on their surface. Although these CD34+CD4+ cells theoretically should be capable of productive infection by HIV, we found that HIV-IIIB could not establish productive infection in these cells. Nonetheless, gp120 from IIIB could bind the cells. Thus, binding of gp120 did not correlate with infectivity. Furthermore, binding of gp120 was a specific event, leading to apoptosis upon crosslinking with anti-gp120 through a fas-dependent mechanism. If apoptosis is also observed in vivo even in uninfected hematopoietic cells, this could contribute significantly to the impairment in hematopoietic cell number and function. Our data suggest a novel indirect mechanism for depletion of CD34+ and CD34+-derived cells even in the absence of productive viral infection of these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bone marrow
  • CD34CD4 cells
  • Cord blood
  • Fas antigen
  • HIV-1 infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research


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