CD16+ Monocytes Exposed to HIV Promote Highly Efficient Viral Replication Upon Differentiation Into Macrophages and Interaction With T Cells

Virology. 2006 Jan 20;344(2):267-76. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2005.10.027. Epub 2005 Nov 21.


The CD16+ subset of monocytes is dramatically expanded in peripheral blood during progression to AIDS, but its contribution to HIV pathogenesis is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that CD16+ but not CD16- monocytes promote high levels of HIV replication upon differentiation into macrophages and interaction with T cells. Conjugates formed between CD16+ monocyte-derived macrophages and T cells are major sites of viral replication. Furthermore, similar monocyte-T cell conjugates detected in peripheral blood of HIV-infected patients harbor HIV DNA. Thus, expansion of CD16+ monocytes during HIV infection and their subsequent recruitment into tissues such as lymph nodes, brain, and intestine may contribute to HIV dissemination and establishment of productive infection in T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / virology
  • Monocytes / cytology*
  • Monocytes / virology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Virus Replication / physiology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Receptors, IgG