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J Infect Dis. 1991 Jan;163(1):78-82.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha/cachectin enhances human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication in primary macrophages.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


Macrophages are important target cells for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The ability of HIV-1 to productively infect macrophages may be influenced by endogenous cytokines that alter the activation state of these cells. In this study, the effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha/cachectin (TNF alpha), a cytokine with macrophage-activating properties, on HIV-1 replication in primary blood monocyte-derived macrophages was examined. Treatment of macrophages with recombinant human TNF alpha (rTNF alpha), starting before or after HIV-1 infection, consistently enhanced viral production fivefold or greater above control (P less than .01). rTNF alpha was active at low concentrations (0.05-50 ng/ml) and increased the replication of both lymphocyte-tropic (human T lymphotropic virus type IIIB) and macrophage-tropic (human T lymphotropic virus type III BaL) strains of HIV-1. These findings provide additional evidence that TNF alpha may play a role in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection by upregulating viral expression in macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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