Lymphocyte trafficking and HIV infection of human lymphoid tissue in a rotating wall vessel bioreactor. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The pathogenesis of HIV infection involves a complex interplay between both the infected and noninfected cells of human lymphoid tissue, the release of free viral particles, the de novo infection of cells, and the recirculatory trafficking of peripheral blood lymphocytes. To develop an in vitro model for studying these various aspects of HIV pathogenesis we have utilized blocks of surgically excised human tonsils and a rotating wall vessel (RWV) cell culture system. Here we show that (1) fragments of the surgically excised human lymphoid tissue remain viable and retain their gross cytoarchitecture for at least 3 weeks when cultured in the RWV system; (2) such lymphoid tissue gradually shows a loss of both T and B cells to the surrounding growth medium; however, this cellular migration is reversible as demonstrated by repopulation of the tissue by labeled cells from the growth medium; (3) this cellular migration may be partially or completely inhibited by embedding the blocks of lymphoid tissue in either a collagen or agarose gel matrix; these embedded tissue blocks retain most of the basic elements of a normal lymphoid cytoarchitecture; and (4) both embedded and nonembedded RWV-cultured blocks of human lymphoid tissue are capable of productive infection by HIV-1 of at least three various strains of different tropism and phenotype, as shown by an increase in both p24 antigen levels and free virus in the culture medium, and by the demonstration of HIV-1 RNA-positive cells inside the tissue identified by in situ hybridization. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that gel-embedded and nonembedded blocks of human lymphoid tissue, cocultured with a suspension of tonsillar lymphocytes in an RWV culture system, constitute a useful model for simulating normal lymphocyte recirculatory traffic and provide a new tool for testing the various aspects of HIV pathogenesis.

publication date

  • November 1, 1997