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Funke, Ilona; Hahn, Alfred; Rieber, Ernst Peter; Weiss, Elisabeth H. and Riethmüller, Gert (1987): THE CELLULAR RECEPTOR (CD4) OF THE HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS IS EXPRESSED ON NEURONS AND GLIAL CELLS IN HUMAN BRAIN. In: Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol. 165: pp. 1230-1235 [PDF, 597kB]


The peculiar tropism of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for T helper lymphocytes can be explained by a specific interaction between the virus and the CD4 molecule on these cells (1, 2). The tropism for T lymphocytes, however, can hardly account for the early brain infection observed in some AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) patients (3, 4). Since CD4 is also expressed on virus-susceptible non-T cell lines we wondered whether an additional expression site of CD4 could be demonstrated in neural tissue (5). To this end, CD4 expression in brain was analyzed with several different anti-CD4 mAbs, and using a CD4-specific cDNA probe in Northern blot analyses . CD4' cells and CD4-specific mRNA were found in the cerebellum, thalamus, and pons. The reactive cells could be identified as neurons as well as glial cells.

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