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Virology. 2002 May 25;297(1):78-88.

Primary isolated human brain microvascular endothelial cells express diverse HIV/SIV-associated chemokine coreceptors and DC-SIGN and L-SIGN.

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The Dorrance H. Hamilton Laboratories, Center for Human Virology, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Chemokines have received increasing attention due to their inhibitory activities on human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication and the potential for chemokine receptors to assist in HIV-1/SIV entry into permissive cells. Besides CD4, which is the major receptor for HIV-1 and SIV, a number of chemokine receptors including but not limited to APJ, CCR3, CXCR4, and CCR5 may be coreceptors for HIV-1/SIV, not only in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues but also in the central nervous system (CNS). The present studies reveal the lack of CD4, but the significant expression of various chemokine receptors, APJ, CCR3, CXCR4, and CCR5, plus C-type lectins DC-SIGN and L-SIGN on isolated primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs). As these MVECs do not express CD4, this suggests a CD4-independent HIV/SIV entry/infection of these cells, which are the major cells constituting the human blood-brain barrier. We also found that chemokines for cognate chemokine receptors individually were unable to block binding of HIV-1 to brain MVECs. These results reveal that in primary isolated brain MVECs viral attachment is mediated by a possible previously unknown receptor(s) or by cooperative activity of various receptors. Moreover, mRNA transcripts for DC-SIGN/L-SIGN, as well as DC-SIGN protein expression, suggest the capability of MVECs to attach viral particles on cell surfaces, even though polyclonal antisera for DC-SIGN did not affect viral binding to these cells. These data will assist in further understanding lentiviral entry into the CNS.

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