HIV-1 replicates in human osteoclasts and enhances their differentiation in vitro

Retrovirology. 2015 Feb 7;12:12. doi: 10.1186/s12977-015-0139-7.


Background: HIV-1 infected patients frequently have osteolytic bone disease, which is caused by the dysregulation of the bone remodeling system that involves the interaction between osteoblasts and osteoclasts, but the relationship between osteolytic disease and HIV-1 infection remains unclear. In this study we tested whether HIV-1 infection of osteoclasts affects their differentiation.

Results: We prepared human osteoclasts from CD14+ monocytes and examined them for their susceptibility to HIV-1. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of HIV-1 infection on osteoclast differentiation. CD14-derived osteoclasts were shown to express CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4 each at the similar level to that shown with macrophages. R5-tropic HIV-1 and X4-tropic HIV-1 were found to infect CD14-derived osteoclasts and replicate in them. Furthermore, HIV-1 infection induced formation of larger osteoclastst, enhanced the expression of mRNAs for three osteoclast specific marker molecules (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, cathepsin K, and the calcitonin receptor), and up-regulated osteoclast bone resorption activity.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that osteoclasts serve as a novel target for HIV-1 infection, which may enhance the osteoclast differentiation contributing to the development of osteolytic disease in HIV-1-infected patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / analysis
  • Osteoclasts / chemistry
  • Osteoclasts / physiology*
  • Osteoclasts / virology*
  • Receptors, CCR5 / analysis
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / analysis
  • Virus Replication*


  • CCR5 protein, human
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, CXCR4