Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Leukoc Biol. 2012 Oct;92(4):743-52. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0112040. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Human cytomegalovirus induction of a unique signalsome during viral entry into monocytes mediates distinct functional changes: a strategy for viral dissemination.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, USA.


HCMV pathogenesis is a direct consequence of the hematogenous dissemination of the virus to multiple host organ sites. The presence of infected monocytes in the peripheral blood and organs of individuals exhibiting primary HCMV infection have long suggested that these blood sentinels are responsible for mediating viral spread. Despite monocytes being "at the right place at the right time", their short lifespan and the lack of productive viral infection in these cells complicate this scenario of a monocyte-driven approach to viral dissemination by HCMV. However, our laboratory has provided evidence that HCMV infection is able to induce a highly controlled polarization of monocytes toward a unique and long-lived proinflammatory macrophage, which we have demonstrated to be permissive for viral replication. These observations suggest that HCMV has evolved as a distinct mechanism to induce select proinflammatory characteristics that provide infected monocytes with the necessary tools to mediate viral spread following a primary infection. In the absence of viral gene products during the early stages of infection, the process by which HCMV "tunes" the inflammatory response in infected monocytes to promote viral spread and subsequently, viral persistence remains unclear. In this current review, we focus on the viral entry process of HCMV and the potential role of receptor-ligand interactions in modulating monocyte biology. Specifically, we examine the signaling pathways initiated by the distinct combination of cellular receptors simultaneously engaged and activated by HCMV during viral entry and how the acquisition of this distinct signalsome results in a nontraditional activation of monocytes leading to the induction of the unique, functional attributes observed in monocytes following HCMV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center