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J Gen Virol. 2000 Feb;81(Pt 2):393-9.

Monocyte-derived dendritic cells are permissive to the complete replicative cycle of human cytomegalovirus.

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Department of Medical Virology, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 7/6, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The susceptibility of monocyte-derived immature dendritic cells (DC) to infection by various strains of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) was analysed. Immature DC were generated by incubation of peripheral blood monocytes with interleukin-4 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor for 7 days and were characterized by a CD1a+/CD40+/CD80+/CD86+/HLA-DR+/CD14- phenotype. Viral antigen expression and production of infectious progeny virus were analysed in infected immature DC cultures. Immature DC were 80-90 % susceptible to HCMV strains that had been propagated in endothelial cell culture, whereas the infection rate was negligible with fibroblast-adapted HCMV strains. Immature DC infection resulted in expression of viral immediate early, early and late genes. Productive infection was proven by the detection of infectious virus in single-step growth curves and in infectious centre assays. It is concluded that HCMV might interfere with the host immune reaction by permissive, lytic infection of immature DC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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