Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 1998;12(1-2 Suppl):23-7.

Clinical implications of HIV dynamics and drug resistance in macrophages.

Author information

Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Roma Tor Vergata, Italy.


Macrophages are widely recognized as the second major target of HIV in the body. The cellular characteristics of such resting cells markedly affect the dynamics of virus lifecycle, that is slower but far more prolonged that in lymphocytes. In addition, the limited concentrations of endogenous nucleotide pools in macrophages downregulate the enzymatic activity of reverse transcriptase. As a consequence, both the anti-HIV activity and the development of resistance to antiviral drugs in macrophages are substantially different than those found in activated lymphocytes. These peculiar characteristics of virus replication and efficacy of antiviral drugs in macrophages have a natural in vivo counterpart in extralymphoid tissues, where macrophages account for the majority of cells infected by HIV. Furthermore, the replication of HIV in macrophages of testis and central nervous system is far less affected by antiviral drugs than in lymph nodes, because of the presence of natural barriers that markedly diminish the concentration of such drugs. For all these reasons, HIV infection of macrophages should be taken into account in therapeutic strategies aimed to achieve an optimal therapeutic effect in all tissue compartments where the virus hides and replicates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center