Lipopolysaccharide is a potent monocyte/macrophage-specific stimulator of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 expression

J Exp Med. 1990 Jul 1;172(1):253-61. doi: 10.1084/jem.172.1.253.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) potently stimulates human immunodeficiency virus type 1-long terminal repeat (HIV-1-LTR) CAT constructs transfected into monocyte/macrophage-like cell lines but not a T cell line. This effect appears to be mediated through the induction of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B). Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrate that LPS induces a DNA binding activity indistinguishable from NF-kappa B in U937 and THP-1 cells. LPS is also shown to dramatically increase HIV-1 production from a chronically infected monocyte/macrophage-like cloned cell line, U1, which produces very low levels of HIV-1 at baseline. The stimulation of viral production from this cell line occurs only if these cells are treated with granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) before treatment with LPS. This stimulation of HIV-1 production is correlated with an increase in the level of HIV-1 RNA and and activation of NF-kappa B. LPS is not able to induce HIV-1 production in a cloned T cell line. The effect of LPS on HIV-1 replication occurs at picogram per milliliter concentrations and may be clinically significant in understanding the variability of the natural history of HIV-1 infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / pharmacology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Escherichia coli
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Growth Substances / pharmacology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / microbiology*
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plasmids
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / microbiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transfection / genetics
  • Virus Activation / drug effects*
  • Virus Activation / genetics


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Growth Substances
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • RNA, Viral
  • Transcription Factors
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor