Using immunobiochemical approaches we previously studied the conformation and surface exposure of different immunodominant regions within the oligomeric, virion-associated form of the gp120 envelope glycoprotein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) (L Stamatatos and C. Cheng-Mayer (1995) J. Virol. 69, 6191-6198). These studies allowed us to determine to what extent epitopes within these immunodominant regions of the oligomeric gp120 are occluded or accessible to antibody binding on the virion surface of two primary-like (HIV-1SF162 and HIV-1SF128A) and one. T-cell-line-adapted (HIV-1SF2) isolates. Here, we investigate whether binding of anti-gp120 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to exposed epitopes of the immunodominant regions of oligomeric gp120 results in neutralization of HIV-1 infection and whether certain exposed sites are better targets for neutralization than others. We also test whether proposed mechanisms for antibody-mediated neutralization of T-cell-line-adapted HIV-1 isolates, e.g., antibody-mediated gp120-virion dissociation, are applicable to primary-like HIV-1 isolates. We assess the neutralization potential of anti-V2 loop, anti-V3 loop, and anti-CD4 binding site MAbs using human primary macrophages or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) as target cells and HIV-1SF162 and HIV-1SF128A as infecting isolates. Our data indicate that: (i) not every exposed epitope of the immunodominant regions of gp120 oligomers on the virion surface is a target for neutralization; (ii) during virus-cell fusion specific exposure of previously occluded V3 loop epitopes within gp120 oligomers occurs, which may become targets for neutralization; (iii) antibody-mediated gp120-virion dissociation does not appear to be a major mechanism of neutralization for the primary-like HIV-1 isolates tested here; and (iv) infection of macrophages is more sensitive to neutralization by anti-gp120 monoclonal antibodies than PBMC. We also report that binding of one of the two anti-CD4 binding site MAbs tested mediated enhancement of macrophage cell infection in a concentration-dependent fashion, while binding of the other anti-CD4 binding site MAb resulted in efficient neutralization of infection of both macrophages and PBMC.