Mechanisms of HIV envelope-induced T lymphocyte apoptosis

Virol Sin. 2010 Oct;25(5):307-15. doi: 10.1007/s12250-010-3148-7. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


Infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is characterized by a progressive depletion of CD4 T lymphocytes, which leads to dysfunction of the immune system. Although a variety of mechanisms may contribute to the gradual T cell decline that occurs in HIV-infected patients, abnormal apoptosis of infected or bystander T lymphocytes is an important event leading to immunodeficiency. The HIV envelope glycoprotein plays a crucial role in HIV associated apoptosis through both death receptor-mediated and mitochondria-dependent pathways. This review summarizes current knowledge of Env-mediated T lymphocyte apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • HIV / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus / toxicity*


  • env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus