Strains of the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) presently under investigation exhibit distinct patterns of in vitro tropism. In particular, the adaptation of FIV for propagation in Crandell feline kidney (CrFK) cells results in the selection of strains capable of forming syncytia with cell lines of diverse species origin. The infection of CrFK cells by CrFK-adapted strains appears to require the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and is inhibited by its natural ligand, stromal cell-derived factor 1alpha (SDF-1alpha). Here we found that inhibitors of CXCR4-mediated infection by human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1), such as the bicyclam AMD3100 and short peptides derived from the amino-terminal region of SDF-1alpha, also blocked infection of CrFK by FIV. Nevertheless, we observed differences in the ranking order of the peptides as inhibitors of FIV and HIV-1 and showed that such differences are related to the species origin of CXCR4 and not that of the viral envelope. These results suggest that, although the envelope glycoproteins of FIV and HIV-1 are substantially divergent, FIV and HIV-1 interact with CXCR4 in a highly similar manner. We have also addressed the role of CXCR4 in the life cycle of primary isolates of FIV. Various CXCR4 ligands inhibited infection of feline peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by primary FIV isolates in a concentration-dependent manner. These ligands also blocked the viral transduction of feline PBMC by pseudotyped viral particles when infection was mediated by the envelope glycoprotein of a primary FIV isolate but not by the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus, indicating that they act at an envelope-mediated step and presumably at viral entry. These findings strongly suggest that primary and CrFK-adapted strains of FIV, despite disparate in vitro tropisms, share usage of CXCR4.