Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a clinically significant herpes virus that maintains a lifelong infection in the host. HCMV infection of endothelial cells and macrophages plays an important role in the establishment of latency and persistence, which appears critical for the maintenance of HCMV within the host. HCMV infection is profoundly influenced by endothelial cell origin and the specific pathway of macrophage differentiation. Multiple HCMV genes appear to be involved in enabling virus replication in these two cell types. Although the specific HCMV gene(s) mediating endothelial and macrophage tropism are unclear, a number of genetic determinants required for replication in these two cell types have been identified in the closely related murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) mouse model, revealing novel mechanisms of virus tropism. This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of HCMV replication in endothelial cells and macrophages, and the viral determinants that mediate replication in these two important cell types.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases