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

Human immunodeficiency virus infection down-regulates HLA class II expression and induces differentiation in promonocytic U937 cells.

We studied the effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on the surface-marker expression of the human promonocytic cell line U937. U937 cells persistently produced HIV as detected by reverse transcriptase activity in culture supernatant. Expression of HLA class II antigens on U937/HIV cells was decreased 2- to 10-fold, depending on the Mab used. Class II expression of U937/HIV cells increased approximately two-fold by treatment with r-interferon-gamma. Whereas noninfected U937 cells expressed moderate amounts of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) (CD11a) and minimal amounts of the C3bi receptor (CD11b) and p150/95 (CD11c), U937/HIV cells expressed moderate amounts of C3bi receptor and p150/95 and showed elevated expression of LFA-1 alpha (CD11a) and -beta (CD18) chains. Expression of these adhesion molecules resulted in strongly enhanced phorbolester-induced aggregation of U937/HIV cells compared with the noninfected U937 cells. In addition, almost all U937/HIV cells, but not noninfected U937 cells, intensely stained for cytoplasmic nonspecific esterase activity. The effects of HIV infection on U937 cells strikingly resemble the effects of differentiation-inducing agents, such as PMA and DMSO, on the U937 phenotype. Our finding suggests that HIV infection, apart from down regulating class II expression, induces differentiation of U937 cells.[1]


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