Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has tropism for helper T lymphocytes and cells of the monocyte/ macrophage lineages. HIV-1 can also infect other cell types, including B cells. We show here that 10% of fresh circulating B cells from HIV-1-seronegative donors (i) express the CD4 receptor and CCR5 and CXCR4, two recently described coreceptors for HIV-1 and (ii) are permissive to HIV-1 with de novo proviral DNA integration following ex vivo infection by either SI (syncytium-inducing) or NSI (non-syncytium-inducing) isolates. To get further information on the interaction between HIV and B cells, the susceptibility of several EBV-positive or -negative B cell lines to infection by SI and NSI isolates was checked. Following infection of an EBV- CD4+ CXCR4+ CCR5- B cell line (DG75) by an SI HIV-1 isolate, we obtained a cell line which chronically produced low-level infectious HIV-1 for 2 years (HIV-DG75). Immunocytochemical data, combined with in situ PCR data, established that HIV-DG75 cells consist of at least three populations uninfected cells, infected virus-producing cells, and infected but nonproducing cells. Moreover, HIV-DG75 cells which express p24 antigen do not go into apoptosis, contrary to T lymphocytes. We infer from these results that B cells could constitute a reservoir of infectious virus in infected patients.