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K Dutt, D York, H J Kaplan, E Semple, G Verly, A Srinivasan; Replication of HIV in human fetal retinal cultures and established pigment epithelial cell lines.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(7):1535-1541.
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The ability of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to replicate in cells derived from ocular tissue was studied. Primary retinal cultures (containing both glial and neuronal cells) were found to support the replication of HIV upon transfection with molecularly cloned proviral DNA. In addition, established retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell lines also produced HIV particles upon transfection. HIV released by these cell lines was able to infect and induce characteristic cytopathic effects in T4+ cells. An indicator plasmid containing the HIV long terminal repeat sequences (LTR) linked to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene showed barely detectable activity in RPE cells and was transactivated by the addition of the HIV "tat" gene. Based on these observations, direct infection of ocular tissue derived cells such as RPE, fetal retinal cells, retinoblastoma cells (Y 79, WER1), choroidal endothelial cells (Chor 55) (mix culture) and corneal fibroblasts (K61) by HIV was attempted. HIV replication in these cells was not detected by reverse transcriptase, antigen and transactivation function assays.
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