In the previous AIDS symposium organized by the Society, Witte and Witte (1) made a number of predictions, one of which was that in AIDS patients, "Lymph from the thoracic duct should be strongly positive for HIV." Though direct evidence for this is lacking, some early experiments of ours with vaccinia virus (2) are fully in accord with this prediction, to which they lend indirect support. In rabbits, nasally instilled vaccinia virus spreads via the lymphatic pathway (afferent peripheral lymph–deep cervical gland–efferent lymph–thoracic duct) in as short a time as nine hours. Virus is transported mainly in cells, for when the efferent lymph is centrifuged virus is found only in the cell sediment. It seems reasonable to assume that other viruses, including HIV, are similarly disseminated. Paradoxically, the lymphomyeloid complex both greatly facilitates the spread of virus, and at the same time, mounts the immunological defenses against the virus which it so effectively helps to disseminate. Whatever the portal of entry of the virus, its transport by migrating cells ensures its dissemination throughout the lymphomyeloid complex, including the bone marrow. The bone marrow is an integral part of the complex, as the prime source of B lymphocytes, T lymphocyte precursors, and many of the antigen-presenting cells as well as the granulocytes. There is some evidence concerning possible ways in which the bone marrow can contribute to the development of immune deficiency in AIDS patients. The bone marrow merits further study in this context.


How to Cite: Yoffey, J. (1990) “VIRUS DISSENIMATION VIA THE LYMPHOMYELOID COMPLEX”, Lymphology. 23(2).