Sep 1, 1991

Cell-mediated infection of human placental trophoblast with HIV in vitro

AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
G C DouglasB F King


In order to investigate how human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gains entry to the placenta, we have performed in vitro experiments in which highly purified trophoblast cells isolated from term human placentas were examined for their susceptibility to HIV infection. Trophoblast cells were exposed to cell-free HIV-1 for up to 24 h, after which the cultures were monitored by p24 antigen capture assay, reverse transcriptase assay, and electron microscopy for evidence of virus uptake and replication. None was found. In the second series of experiments, trophoblast cells were cocultured with HIV-infected MOLT-4 cells for 24 h, stained using an anti-HIV antibody, and examined by immunofluorescence microscopy. The MOLT cells were strongly positive, as expected, but many trophoblast colonies also showed a punctate staining pattern. Examination of similar cultures using the electron microscope revealed MOLT cells adherent to trophoblast but no evidence of cell-cell fusion. Virions were observed in coated pits at the trophoblast cell surface and in endosomes or multivesicular bodies in the cytoplasm. These observations are consistent with an endocytosis-mediated mechanism of virus entry. Virions were also observed budding from the trophob...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Syncytium Formation by Plasma Membrane Fusion
Virus Diseases
Placenta Specimen
Lymphocytes as Percentage of Blood Leukocytes (Lab Test)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Test

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