Sequences regulating tropism of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 for brain capillary endothelial cells map to a unique region on the viral genome

Ashlee V. Moses, Stephan G. Stenglein, Joanne G. Strussenberg, Kathy Wehrly, Bruce Chesebro, Jay A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Two infectious molecular clones of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, NL4-3 and JR-CSF, differ in their abilities to productively infect human brain capillary endothelial (HBCE) cells. The phenotypes of recombinants between these two molecular strains were examined to identify viral sequences responsible for the difference in HBCE cell tropism between the two parental strains. Our results indicate that HBCE cell tropism maps to a region that encompasses the C1 region of env and includes overlapping reading frames for the accessory genes vpr, vpu, tat, and rev. This region was unique for HBCE cell tropism and did not cosegregate with either macrophage or T-cell line tropism. However, several recombinant clones displayed dual tropism for both HBCE cells and macrophages. These endothelial cell- and macrophage-tropic strains may have a unique pathogenic advantage by entering the brain via HBCE cells and subsequently infecting microglial cells with high efficiency, leading to the induction of human immunodeficiency virus dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3401-3406
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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