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J Virol. 2001 Aug;75(16):7543-54.

Reactivation of latent human cytomegalovirus in CD14(+) monocytes is differentiation dependent.

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Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.


We have previously demonstrated reactivation of latent human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in myeloid lineage cells obtained from healthy donors. Virus was obtained from allogenically stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages (Allo-MDM), but not from macrophages differentiated by mitogenic stimulation (ConA-MDM). In the present study, the cellular and cytokine components essential for HCMV replication and reactivation were examined in Allo-MDM. The importance of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the generation of HCMV-permissive Allo-MDM was demonstrated by negative selection or blocking experiments using antibodies directed against both HLA class I and HLA class II molecules. Interestingly, contact of monocytes with CD4 or CD8 T cells was not essential for reactivation of HCMV, since virus was observed in macrophages derived from CD14(+) monocytes stimulated by supernatants produced by allogeneic stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Examination of the cytokines produced in Allo-MDM and ConA-MDM cultures indicated a significant difference in the kinetics of production and quantity of these factors. Further examination of the cytokines essential for the generation of HCMV-permissive Allo-MDM identified gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) but not interleukin-1 or -2, tumor necrosis factor alpha, or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor as critical components in the generation of these macrophages. In addition, although IFN-gamma was crucial for reactivation of latent HCMV, addition of IFN-gamma to unstimulated macrophage cultures was insufficient to reactivate virus. Thus, this study characterizes two distinct monocyte-derived cell types which can be distinguished by their ability to reactivate and support HCMV replication and identifies the critical importance of IFN-gamma in the reactivation of HCMV.

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