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J Virol. 1991 Nov;65(11):6371-5.

Unrestricted replication of human cytomegalovirus in hydrocortisone-treated macrophages.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


Monocytes differentiated in the presence of phytohemagglutinin P-stimulated T cells could be infected with human cytomegalovirus AD169 and produced low levels of infectious virus. Additional treatment with therapeutic levels of hydrocortisone resulted in a 10- to 100-fold increase in infectious virus production. Hydrocortisone-treated cells demonstrated immediate-early protein kinetics similar to that observed with human fibroblasts, whereas a delay of up to 24 h was observed with untreated cells. Late protein production was barely detectable by immunostaining without hydrocortisone treatment. In treated cells, however, late protein was detected and the levels correlated with the number of cells producing infectious virus. This system provides a model for human cytomegalovirus infection of macrophages in humans.

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