Chronic, highly productive HIV infection in monocytes during supportive culture

Manisha Saini, Mary Jane Potash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Peripheral blood monocytes of HIV-infected individuals carry virus, constituting one potential reservoir. However, most studies of infection in tissue culture find monocytes refractory to HIV replication, suggesting that culture conditions limit the relative susceptibility of this target cell. We employed a tissue culture system optimized for maintenance of human monocytes without differentiation and compared HIV infection efficiency of monocytes and fully differentiated monocyte derived macrophages (MDM). We tested direct virus-cell fusion, expression of cell lineage markers, and productive HIV infection in fresh monocytes, monocytes after varying periods of supportive culture, and fully differentiated MDM comparing cells from individual donors. Fresh, uncultured monocytes allowed modest HIV fusion, however one week culture was sufficient to allow efficient fusion and an increase in expression of CD14, CD16,CD33, and CD105. Compared to freshly isolated monocytes, monocytes infected after a few days in culture produced p24 more quickly, but the peaks of production were similar. Fresh monocytes were highly susceptible to productive HIV infection in supportive culture, roughly equal to MDM from the same donor in expression of extracellular p24 up to five weeks after infection. Taken together our findings indicate that monocytes are biologically capable of supporting chronic, highly productive HIV infection, a capacity that may reflect their status in HIV-infected persons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent HIV Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Differentiation
  • HIV
  • Monocytes
  • Tissue culture


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