Efficient Transendothelial Migration of Latently HIV-1-Infected Cells

Viruses. 2021 Aug 11;13(8):1589. doi: 10.3390/v13081589.


A small fraction of HIV-1-infected T cells forms populations of latently infected cells when they are a naive T-cell subset or in transit to a resting memory state. Latently HIV-1-infected cells reside in lymphoid tissues and serve as viral reservoirs. However, whether they systemically recirculate in the body and re-enter the lymphoid nodes are unknown. Here, we employed two in-vitro cell coculture systems mimicking the lymphatic endothelium in lymph nodes and investigated the homing potential, specifically the transendothelial migration (TEM), of two latently HIV-1-infected cell lines (J1.1 and ACH-2). In trans-well coculture systems, J1.1 and ACH-2 showed higher TEM efficiencies than their parental uninfected and acutely infected cells. The efficiency of TEM was enhanced by the presence of stromal cells, such as HS-5 and fibroblastic reticular cells. In an in-vitro reconstituted, three-dimensional coculture system in which stromal cells are embedded in collagen matrices, J1.1 showed slightly higher TEM efficiency in the presence of HS-5. In accordance with these phenotypes, latently infected cells adhered to the endothelial cells more efficiently than uninfected cells. Together, our study showed that latently HIV-1-infected cells enhanced cell adhesion and TEM abilities, suggesting their potential for efficient homing to lymph nodes.

Keywords: HIV-1; latent infection; lymphocyte homing; reconstitution; stromal cells; transmigration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cell Line
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Endothelial Cells / virology*
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • Transendothelial and Transepithelial Migration*
  • Virus Activation
  • Virus Latency*


  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing