Characterization of cultured microglia that can be infected by HIV-1

Andrew V. Albright, Joseph T.C. Shieh, Michael J. O'Connor, F. González-Scarano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Parenchymal microglia are targets of HIV infection. We, as well as others, have used in vitro microglia culture systems to study the tropism and replication of HIV. Characterization of perivascular and parenchymal microglia surface markers in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo, has led to the understanding that these cell populations are different, and data from both the HIV and SIV models support the hypothesis that they may play different roles in infection of the CNS. We determined that human adult parenchymal microglia cultured from temporal lobe tissue for use in HIV replication studies, were CD11c+, CD45+, CD68+, CD14- when cultured with standard serum/cytokine-supplemented media. To determine the influence of serum and cytokines on HIV replication in microglia, we designed a new protocol for culturing microglia, and compared the results obtained with this protocol with the standard approach previously described. Microglia cultured in the presence of a 'feeder' layer of glial cells and in the absence of serum and cytokines expressed the same surface markers as pure microglia (> 95%) cultured in supplemented media. However, pure microglia cultured in the absence of both serum/cytokines supplements and other glial cells, did not have characteristic microglial morphology and did not support HIV replication to as high a level. Lastly, we determined that unlike monocytes, ex vivo parenchymal microglia were capable of supporting HIV replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S53-S60
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Glia
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Microglia
  • Microglial activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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