Production of HIV-1 by human B cells infected in vitro: characterization of an EBV genome-negative B cell line chronically synthetizing a low level of HIV-1 after infection

Virology. 1998 May 10;244(2):542-51. doi: 10.1006/viro.1998.9120.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has tropism for helper T lymphocytes and cells of the monocyte/ macrophage lineages. HIV-1 can also infect other cell types, including B cells. We show here that 10% of fresh circulating B cells from HIV-1-seronegative donors (i) express the CD4 receptor and CCR5 and CXCR4, two recently described coreceptors for HIV-1 and (ii) are permissive to HIV-1 with de novo proviral DNA integration following ex vivo infection by either SI (syncytium-inducing) or NSI (non-syncytium-inducing) isolates. To get further information on the interaction between HIV and B cells, the susceptibility of several EBV-positive or -negative B cell lines to infection by SI and NSI isolates was checked. Following infection of an EBV- CD4+ CXCR4+ CCR5- B cell line (DG75) by an SI HIV-1 isolate, we obtained a cell line which chronically produced low-level infectious HIV-1 for 2 years (HIV-DG75). Immunocytochemical data, combined with in situ PCR data, established that HIV-DG75 cells consist of at least three populations uninfected cells, infected virus-producing cells, and infected but nonproducing cells. Moreover, HIV-DG75 cells which express p24 antigen do not go into apoptosis, contrary to T lymphocytes. We infer from these results that B cells could constitute a reservoir of infectious virus in infected patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD19 / metabolism
  • Apoptosis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Base Sequence
  • CD4 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Genome, Viral
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, CCR5 / genetics
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / genetics
  • Virus Replication*


  • Antigens, CD19
  • CD4 Antigens
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, CXCR4