Human immunodeficiency virus infection inhibits granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-induced microglial proliferation

Melissa Cosenza-Nashat, Meng Liang Zhao, Heather D. Marshall, Qiusheng Si, Susan Morgello, Sunhee C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


It is well known that infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) dysregulates cell physiology, but little information is available on the consequences of HIV infection in primary macrophages and microglia. The authors examined the relationship between cell proliferation and HIV infection in primary cultures of microglia and in human central nervous system (CNS). In cultures infected with HIV (ADA and BaL), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-mediated cell proliferation was reduced in productively infected (p24+) cells as compared to p24- cells. The reduction was observed with both Ki67 and BrdU labeling, suggesting a G1/S block. The reduction was insignificant when microglia were infected with a Vpr- mutant virus. In human CNS, proliferating (Ki67+) cells were rare but were increased in the HIV+ and HIV encephalitis (HIVE) groups compared to the HIV- group. A positive correlation between GM-CSF immunoreactivity and Ki67 counts, implicating GM-CSF as a growth factor in human CNS was found. The relationship between total macrophage (CD68+) proliferation and infected macrophage (p24+) proliferation was assessed in HIVE by double labeling. Whereas 1.2% of total CD68+ cells were Ki67+, only 0.5% of HIV p24+ cells were Ki67+ (P < .05). Furthermore, staining for CD45RB (as opposed to CD68) facilitated the identification of Ki67+ microglia, indicating that CD68 could underestimate proliferating microglia. The authors conclude that although there is increased expression of GM-CSF and increased cell proliferation in the CNS of HIV-seropositive individuals, cell proliferation in the productively infected population is actually suppressed. These data suggest that there might be a viral gain in the suppressed host cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-548
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Brain
  • CD45
  • Cell cycle
  • Growth
  • Ki67
  • Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


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