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J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2006 Mar;1(1):32-40.

Macrophage colony-stimulating factor in the pathogenesis of HIV infection: potential target for therapeutic intervention.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Center for Neurovirology, Temple University School of Medicine, 1900 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.


Macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) appears to play a major role in promoting and maintaining reservoirs of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in infected individuals. HIV-1 infection induces production of M-CSF by macrophages, which in turn promotes further infection of macrophages via increases in CD4 and CCR5 receptors, as well as increases in virus gene expression. M-CSF promotes the ontogeny and survival of macrophages, contributing to both the number and longevity of these infected cells. M-CSF dysregulation promotes the differentiation of monocytes toward macrophages and osteoclasts and at the same time may inhibit differentiation toward dendritic cells, resulting in immune impairment. The potential role of M-CSF in HIV-associated end organ diseases including HIV-associated dementia, HIV-associated nephropathy, and osteoporosis is discussed. This review emphasizes the need for developing M-CSF antagonists for treatment of HIV-1-infected patients.

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