Infection of cultured human adrenal cells by different strains of HIV

A. Barboza, B. A. Castro, M. Whalen, C. C.D. Moore, J. S. Parkin, W. L. Miller, F. Gonzalez-Scarano, J. A. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether human adrenal cells can be infected by HIV. Methods: Cultured human fetal adrenal cells and the SW13 human adrenocortical carcinoma cell line were inoculated with several HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains. Virus replication was detected by viral core antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent and reverse transcriptase assays. CD4 expression was measured by Northern blot and polymerase chain reaction procedures. Results: HIV infection of these adrenal cells was detected and was most evident after cocultivation of the inoculated cells with peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Infection does not involve the CD4 molecule, which is not expressed by these adrenal cells. The relative level of HIV replication depended on the viral strain used. Virus production occurred best in cells that maintained evidence of adrenal cell function. Infection did not appear to disturb steroidogenesis measured in the cells. Conclusions: These observations indicate that human adrenal cells are susceptible to HIV infection, and provide further evidence of the polytropic nature of the virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1443
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992


  • CD4 expression
  • HIV infection
  • Human adrenal cells
  • Steroidogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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