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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A new possible mechanism of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of neural cells.

To study the mechanism by which HIV-1 infects neurons we have used human neuroblastoma cell lines ( NB). NB (SK-N-SH and SK-N-MC) were found to be susceptible to productive infection by X4 or R5 HIV-1, as detected by viral load and Ag-p24. To identify the putative receptor, we tested the cell surface expression of previously described receptors such as CD4, nucleolin, galactosylceramide, and CCR1, CCR5, and CXCR4 by cytometry and RT-PCR. NB express no CD4 and low levels of galactosylceramide or nucleolin. Furthermore, antibodies to any of these molecules did not affect NB infection. NB express variable levels of CCR5, CCR1, and CXCR4. Interestingly, exogenous heparan sulfate alone was able to substantially inhibit HIV-1 infection, an effect which was potentiated by RANTES or SDF-1 in the HIV-1-infection with R5 or X4 isolates. Besides, anti-CCR5 and anti-CXCR4 significantly blocked HIV-1 infection of R5 and X4 isolates. Our results suggest that HIV-1 entry involves a chemokine-receptor-dependent but CD4-independent entry in neural cells.[1]


  1. A new possible mechanism of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of neural cells. Alvarez Losada, S., Cantó-Nogués, C., Muñoz-Fernández, M.A. Neurobiol. Dis. (2002) [Pubmed]
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