Uninfected haematopoietic progenitor (CD34+) cells purified from the bone marrow of AIDS patients are committed to apoptotic cell death in culture

AIDS. 1993 Aug;7(8):1049-55. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199308000-00004.


Objective: To determine the mechanism underlying the poor growth in vitro of haematopoietic progenitor cells isolated from HIV-1-infected patients.

Method: Apoptotic death in liquid culture of bone-marrow CD34+ cells obtained from 11 HIV-1-seropositive patients and 18 HIV-1-seronegative donors was quantitatively monitored by a flow cytometry procedure.

Results: No significant differences in the percentage of apoptotic cells were noted between the two groups immediately after purification. When CD34+ cells were placed in liquid cultures supplemented with 2 ng/ml interleukin-3, the number of apoptotic cells progressively and significantly (P < 0.05) increased in all HIV-1-seropositive patients, while it remained constant in HIV-1-seronegative individuals. Although all HIV-1-seropositive patients showed signs of active viral replication in the bone-marrow micro-environment, progenitor CD34+ cells did not show the presence of active and/or latent HIV-1 infection.

Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that CD34+ cells isolated from AIDS patients with active HIV-1 replication in bone-marrow accessory cells are committed to apoptotic death without being directly affected by productive infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Apoptosis*
  • Bone Marrow / microbiology
  • Bone Marrow / pathology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Virus Replication


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD34