Effective vaccine development for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) will require assays that ascertain the capacity of vaccine immunogens to elicit neutralizing antibodies (NAb) to diverse HIV-1 strains. To facilitate NAb assessment in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-based assays, we developed an assay-adaptable platform based on a Renilla luciferase (LucR) expressing HIV-1 proviral backbone. LucR was inserted into pNL4-3 DNA, preserving all viral open reading frames. The proviral genome was engineered to facilitate expression of diverse HIV-1 env sequences, allowing analysis in an isogenic background. The resulting Env-IMC-LucR viruses are infectious, and LucR is stably expressed over multiple replications in PBMC. HIV-1 neutralization, targeting TZM-bl cells, was highly correlative comparing virus (LucR) and cell (firefly luciferase) readouts. In PBMC, NAb activity can be analyzed either within a single or multiple cycles of replication. These results represent advancement toward a standardizable PBMC-based neutralization assay for assessing HIV-1 vaccine immunogen efficacy. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.