Macrophage infection via selective capture of HIV-1-infected CD4+ T cells

Academic Article


  • Macrophages contribute to HIV-1 pathogenesis by forming a viral reservoir and mediating neurological disorders. Cell-free HIV-1 infection of macrophages is inefficient, in part due to low plasma membrane expression of viral entry receptors. We find that macrophages selectively capture and engulf HIV-1-infected CD4+ T cells leading to efficient macrophage infection. Infected T cells, both healthy and dead or dying, were taken up through viral envelope glycoprotein-receptor-independent interactions, implying a mechanism distinct from conventional virological synapse formation. Macrophages infected by this cell-to-cell route were highly permissive for both CCR5-using macrophage-tropic and otherwise weakly macrophage-tropic transmitted/founder viruses but restrictive for nonmacrophage-tropic CXCR4-using virus. These results have implications for establishment of the macrophage reservoir and HIV-1 dissemination in vivo.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Baxter AE; Russell RA; Duncan CJA; Moore MD; Willberg CB; Pablos JL; Finzi A; Kaufmann DE; Ochsenbauer C; Kappes JC
  • Start Page

  • 711
  • End Page

  • 721
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 6