Reactivation of latent human cytomegalovirus in CD14+ monocytes is differentiation dependent

C. Söderberg-Nauclér, D. N. Streblow, K. N. Fish, J. Allan-Yorke, P. P. Smith, J. A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


We have previously demonstrated reactivation of latent human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in myeloid lineage cells obtained from healthy donors. Virus was obtained from allogenically stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages (Allo-MDM), but not from macrophages differentiated by mitogenic stimulation (ConA-MDM). In the present study, the cellular and cytokine components essential for HCMV replication and reactivation were examined in Allo-MDM. The importance of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the generation of HCMV-permissive Allo-MDM was demonstrated by negative selection or blocking experiments using antibodies directed against both HLA class I and HLA class II molecules. Interestingly, contact of monocytes with CD4 or CD8 T cells was not essential for reactivation of HCMV, since virus was observed in macrophages derived from CD14+ monocytes stimulated by supernatants produced by allogeneic stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Examination of the cytokines produced in Allo-MDM and ConA-MDM cultures indicated a significant difference in the kinetics of production and quantity of these factors. Further examination of the cytokines essential for the generation of HCMV-permissive Allo-MDM identified gamma interferon (IFN-γ) but not interleukin-1 or -2, tumor necrosis factor alpha, or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor as critical components in the generation of these macrophages. In addition, although IFN-γ was crucial for reactivation of latent HCMV, addition of IFN-γ to unstimulated macrophage cultures was insufficient to reactivate virus. Thus, this study characterizes two distinct monocyte-derived cell types which can be distinguished by their ability to reactivate and support HCMV replication and identifies the critical importance of IFN-γ in the reactivation of HCMV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7543-7554
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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