alexa An In vitro Model for the Study of HIV Infection of Thymocytes
ISSN: 2155-9899

Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology
Open Access

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Research Article

An In vitro Model for the Study of HIV Infection of Thymocytes

Charlene D. Young1,2 and Jonathan B Angel1,2,3*
1Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Canada
2Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
3Division of Infectious Diseases, Ottawa Hospital-General Campus, Ottawa, Canada
Corresponding Author : Jonathan B. Angel
Division of Infectious Diseases
Ottawa Hospital-General Campus
501 Smyth Rd, Room G-12, Ottawa
Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada
Tel: (613) 737-8442
Fax: (613) 737-8164
E-mail: [email protected]
Received June 04, 2012; Accepted July 07, 2012; Published July 14, 2012
Citation: Young CD, Angel JB (2012) An In vitro Model for the Study of HIV Infection of Thymocytes. J Clin Cell Immunol S7:002. doi:10.4172/2155-9899.S7-002
Copyright: © 2012 Young CD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

The study of human thymocytes requires an appropriate matrix to enable the proper function of thymocytes. Although OP9-DL1 cells have been well established as an ideal co-culture system for the generation of T-cells from their progenitors; their ability to support a mixed population of mature human thymocytes for in vitro HIV infection studies has yet to be established. We assessed the effects of co-culturing a heterogeneous population of mature human thymocytes with a mouse derived cell line (OP9) transduced with the notch ligand delta like 1 (OP9-DL-1) and compared this to standard co-culture with human thymic epithelial cells (TEC). Co-culturing thymocytes with OP9- DL1 cells resulted in higher viability and lower apoptosis when compared to TEC co-cultures. The subset distribution and CD127 expression of thymocytes varied slightly between conditions. Thymocytes co-cultured with OP9-DL1 cells had a lower proportion of CD3+DP cells and higher proportion of SP4 cells compared to TEC co-cultures. The mature CD3+CD4+CD8- (SP4) cells also had lower levels of CD127 expression in OP9-DL1 cultures when compared to TEC. Interleukin-7 stimulation of thymocytes resulted in a decrease in CD127 expression in OP9-DL1 co-cultures, as previously observed with TEC co-cultures. Thymocytes co-cultured with OP9-DL1 tended to have higher levels of IL-7 induced STAT-5 phosphorylation and had higher levels of Interleukin-7 induced Bcl-2 expression. OP9-DL1 cells provide a microenvironment which is permissive to HIV infection in thymocytes in vitro. Co-culturing thymocytes with OP9-DL1 will facilitate the study of human thymocytes and aid in the study of exogenous stimuli or infection on individual thymocyte subsets.

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