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Research Article

Activation of human monocyte--derived macrophages with lipopolysaccharide decreases human immunodeficiency virus replication in vitro at the level of gene expression.

M S Bernstein, S E Tong-Starksen and R M Locksley

Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0654.

Published August 1991

Activation of T lymphocytes infected with the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) results in enhancement of viral replication mediated in part by activation of cellular NF kappa B capable of binding directly to sequences in the viral long terminal repeat, or LTR. Together with CD4+ T cells, macrophages constitute a major target for infection by HIV-1. Unlike lymphocytes, however, stimulation of mononuclear phagocytes is not associated with cell division and proliferation. Human monocyte-derived macrophages transfected with HIV-LTR-CAT constructs demonstrated down-regulation of CAT activity after stimulation with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that mapped to a region distinct from NF kappa B binding sites. In contrast, fresh monocytes and the promonocytic U937 cell line both demonstrated up-regulation of HIV-LTR-CAT expression by LPS. Differentiation of U937 by PMA to establish a nondividing phenotype resulted in down-regulation of transfected HIV-LTR-CAT activity by LPS similar to that in mature macrophages. Human monocyte-derived macrophages infected with HIV-1 in vitro demonstrated a decrease in viral p24 release after incubation in LPS that was comparable to the negative regulation that occurred in the transient transfection assays. Factors controlling HIV replication may differ in dividing and nondividing hematopoietic cells and may contribute to restricted viral expression in nondividing cells.

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