Expression of CCR5 increases during monocyte differentiation and directly mediates macrophage susceptibility to infection by human immunodeficiency virus type 1.
The stage of differentiation and the lineage of CD4+ cells profoundly affect their susceptibility to infection by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). While CD4(+) T lymphocytes in patients are readily susceptible to HIV-1 infection, peripheral blood monocytes are relatively resistant during acute or early infection, even though monocytes also express CD4 and viral strains with macrophage (M)-tropic phenotypes predominate. CCR5, the main coreceptor for M-tropic viruses, clearly contributes to the ability of CD4+ T cells to be infected. To determine whether low levels of CCR5 expression account for the block in infection of monocytes, we examined primary monocyte lineage cells during differentiation. Culturing of blood monocytes for 5 days led to an increase in the mean number of CCR5-positive cells from <20% of monocytes to >80% of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM). Levels of CCR5 expression per monocyte were generally lower than those on MDM, perhaps below a minimum threshold level necessary for efficient infection. Productive infection may be restricted to the small subset of monocytes that express relatively high levels of CCR5. Steady-state CCR5 mRNA levels also increased four- to fivefold during MDM differentiation. Infection of MDM by M-tropic HIV-1JRFL resulted in >10-fold-higher levels of p24, and MDM harbored >30-fold more HIV-1 DNA copies than monocytes. In the presence of the CCR5-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) 2D7, virus production and cellular levels of HIV-1 DNA were decreased by >80% in MDM, indicating a block in viral entry. There was a direct association between levels of CCR5 and differentiation of monocytes to macrophages. Levels of CCR5 were related to monocyte resistance and macrophage susceptibility to infection because infection by the M-tropic strain HIV-1JRFL could be blocked by MAb 2D7. These results provide direct evidence that CCR5 functions as a coreceptor for HIV-1 infection of primary macrophages.
Tuttle, DL; Harrison, JK; Anders, C; Sleasman, JW; Goodenow, MM
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