Publications & Reports

Coinfection of hepatic cell lines with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B virus leads to an increase in intracellular hepatitis B surface antigen.

Iser DM, Warner N, Revill PA, Solomon A, Wightman F, Saleh S, Crane M, Cameron PU, Bowden S, Nguyen T, Pereira CF, Desmond PV, Locarnini SA, Lewin SR
Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Liver-related mortality is increased in the setting of HIV-hepatitis B virus (HBV) coinfection. However, interactions between HIV and HBV to explain this observation have not been described. We hypothesized that HIV infection of hepatocytes directly affects the life cycle of HBV. We infected human hepatic cell lines expressing HBV (Hep3B and AD38 cells) or not expressing HBV (Huh7, HepG2, and AD43 cells) with laboratory strains of HIV (NL4-3 and AD8), as well as a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-pseudotyped HIV expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Following HIV infection with NL4-3 or AD8 in hepatic cell lines, we observed a significant increase in HIV reverse transcriptase activity which was infectious. Despite no detection of surface CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4 by flow cytometry, AD8 infection of AD38 cells was inhibited by maraviroc and NL4-3 was inhibited by AMD3100, demonstrating that HIV enters AD38 hepatic cell lines via CCR5 or CXCR4. High-level infection of AD38 cells (50%) was achieved using VSV-pseudotyped HIV. Coinfection of the AD38 cell line with HIV did not alter the HBV DNA amount or species as determined by Southern blotting or nucleic acid signal amplification. However, coinfection with HIV was associated with a significant increase in intracellular HBsAg when measured by Western blotting, quantitative HBsAg, and fluorescence microscopy. We conclude that HIV infection of HBV-infected hepatic cell lines significantly increased intracellular HBsAg but not HBV DNA synthesis and that increased intrahepatic HBsAg secondary to direct infection by HIV may contribute to accelerated liver disease in HIV-HBV-coinfected individuals.


  • Journal: Journal of Virology
  • Published: 01/06/2010
  • Volume: 84
  • Issue: 12
  • Pagination: 5860-5867