Microglial cell upregulation of HIV-1 expression in the chronically infected promonocytic cell line U1: the role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha

J Neuroimmunol. 1992 Nov;41(1):81-7. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(92)90198-t.


Culture supernatants from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated murine microglial cells were found to markedly induce the expression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 in the chronically infected human promonocytic cell line U1 as detected by measurements of HIV-1 p24 antigen release into U1 culture supernatants. Antibody to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha had an inhibitory effect on the induction of virus by microglial cell supernatants. Also, treatment of microglia with pentoxifylline, an inhibitor of TNF-alpha production, resulted in suppressed amounts of TNF in the supernatants of LPS-treated microglia and in a reduced stimulatory capacity of these supernatants on HIV-1 expression in U1 cells. These findings support the concept that TNF-alpha production by glial cells plays a pathogenetic role in HIV-1-associated brain disease by promoting the expression of the virus in infected cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / etiology*
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / microbiology
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Cell Line
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • HIV Core Protein p24 / biosynthesis
  • HIV-1 / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • HIV Core Protein p24
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Pentoxifylline