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Virology. 1991 Jul;183(1):12-9.

In vitro macrophage tropism of pathogenic and nonpathogenic molecular clones of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac).

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Department of Medical Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616.


The significance of infection of mononuclear phagocytes by immunodeficiency lentiviruses of primates is not clearly established. To explore the relationship of macrophage tropism and pathogenesis, conditions to culture and infect monocyte-derived macrophages from rhesus macaques were established and the growth properties of two molecular proviral clones of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac) were studied. Rhesus macrophages supported productive infection of the nonpathogenic SIVmac-1A11 clone; extensive cytopathology characterized by formation of multinucleated giant cells and release of particle-associated reverse transcriptase activity in culture supernatant were observed. In contrast, the pathogenic SIVmac-239 did not establish a productive infection of macrophages and no cytopathology was observed. Both SIVmac-1A11 and SIVmac-239 replicated and induced cytopathic effects in cultures of rhesus peripheral blood lymphocytes and the Cemx174 lymphoid cell line. These results, together with the previously published reports on the pathogenic potential of these two clones of SIVmac, suggest that macrophage tropism measured in vitro does not correlate with in vivo virulence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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