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Blood. 1993 May 15;81(10):2664-70.

Human megakaryocytes have a CD4 molecule capable of binding human immunodeficiency virus-1.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.


Most human megakaryocytes (MGKs) express the CD4 antigen on their surface. Approximately 25% have a CD4 receptor density comparable to that of CD4+ T cells (Basch et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87:8085, 1990). In these studies, we show: (1) the presence of mRNA for CD4 in human MGKs; (2) the binding of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) to human MGKs; (3) the inhibition of binding by anti-CD4 (Leu3a) antibody or rCD4; (4) the infection of a human MGK line, CHRF-288 with HIV-1; and (5) inhibition of infection with anti-CD4. Human MGKs have mRNA for CD4 as shown by in situ hybridization with an RNA probe synthesized from a 3-kb cDNA sequence of plasmid pSP65.T4.8 containing the full-length CD4 sequence. MGKs (23% +/- 17%) bound HIV-1, as determined by anti-gp120 and anti-CD41 staining. Binding to human MGKs could be inhibited 55% to 75% with anti-CD4 or rCD4, respectively. Infection of a CD4+ MGK line (CHRF-288) could be accomplished with HIV-1, as determined by proviral DNA polymerase chain reaction and p24 production. Preincubation with anti-CD4 inhibited apparent proviral DNA infection by 100% and p24 production by 65% to 70%. Thus, human MGKs have a CD4 receptor capable of binding HIV-1. Using this receptor, HIV-1 can infect cells representative of the MGK lineage.

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