Human intestinal lamina propria lymphocytes are naturally permissive to HIV-1 infection

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Apr;29(4):1202-8. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199904)29:04<1202::AID-IMMU1202>3.0.CO;2-O.


The presence of HIV-1 in the intestinal mucosa of AIDS patients has been reported and human intestinal lamina propria lymphocytes (LPL) have been proposed as important targets for HIV-1 infection. However, little information is available concerning the permissiveness of human intestinal CD4+ T lymphocytes to HIV-1 infection. Here, we show that human LPL, in contrast to autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), are permissive to both X4 T-tropic and R5 M-tropic strains of HIV-1, as well as to clinical isolates, in the absence of exogenous stimuli. Flow cytometry showed that the vast majority of T LPL were CD45RO+ and CD69+, and that CD4+ T LPL highly expressed CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) as compared to PBL, while CX chemokine receptor 4 was equally expressed on LPL and PBL. Exogenous RANTES and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (natural CCR5 ligands) virtually abolished the entry of the R5 M-tropic strain HIV-1 into human LPL. Thus, we infer that human intestinal CD4+ T lymphocytes are naturally susceptible to HIV-1 infection, due to their physiological state of activation and to marked expression of HIV-1 coreceptors, independently of the route of primary (either mucosal or parental) infection and the shifts of the virus phenotype occurring during the course of AIDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5 / pharmacology
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / pharmacology
  • Receptors, CCR5 / analysis
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / analysis


  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, CXCR4