Identification of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and lipopolysaccharide-induced signal transduction pathways that synergize to stimulate HIV type 1 production by monocytes from HIV type 1 transgenic mice

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2005 Feb;21(2):125-39. doi: 10.1089/aid.2005.21.125.


HIV-1-infected monocyte/macrophages located in lymph nodes and tissues are highly productive sources of HIV-1 and may function as a persistent reservoir contributing to the rebound viremia observed after highly active antiretroviral therapy is stopped. Mechanisms activating latently infected, primary monocyte/macrophages to produce HIV-1 were investigated using monocytes isolated from a transgenic mouse line carrying a full-length proviral clone of a monocyte-tropic HIV-1 isolate, HIV-1(JR-CSF), regulated by the endogenous long terminal repeat (LTR) (JR-CSF mice). Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) combined with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced infectious HIV-1 production by JR-CSF mouse monocytes over 10-fold and 100-fold higher than that stimulated by GM-CSF or LPS alone, respectively. We examined mechanisms of GM-CSF synergy with LPS and demonstrated that GM-CSF up-regulated the LPS receptor, TLR-4, and also synergized with LPS to activate mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase/ERK kinase and the Sp1 transcription factor. Inhibitors of either MAP kinase/ERK kinase or p38 kinase but not PI 3-kinase potently suppressed GM-CSF and LPS-induced HIV-1 production by JR-CSF mouse monocytes. Because Sp1 is activated by both the MAP kinase/ERK kinase and p38 kinase pathways, we postulate that synergistic activation of these pathways by GM-CSF and LPS induced sufficient levels of Sp1 to activate the HIV-1 LTR in a Tat-independent manner and induced HIV-1 production by JR-CSF mouse monocytes. Thus, our study delineated the pathway of HIV-1 LTR activation by GM-CSF and LPS and indicated that JR-CSF transgenic mice may provide a new in vitro and in vivo system for investigating the mechanism by which inflammatory and infectious stimuli activate HIV-1 production from latently infected monocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-beta / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology*
  • HIV Long Terminal Repeat
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Monocytes / virology*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Protein-beta
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor