Human immunodeficiency virus type 1: Resistance to nucleoside analogues and replicative capacity in primary human macrophages

Danielle Perez-Bercoff, Sébastien Wurtzer, Séverine Compain, Henri Benech, François Clavel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Antiretroviral treatment failure is associated with the emergence of resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) populations which often express altered replicative capacity (RC). The resistance and RC of clinical HIV-1 strains, however, are generally assayed using activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or tumor cell lines. Because of their high proliferation rate and concurrent high deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) content, both resistance and RC alterations might be misestimated in these cell systems. We have evaluated the resistance of HIV-1 clones expressing a variety of RT resistance mutations in primary human macrophages using a single cycle system. Our experiments indicate that d4T, ddI, and 3TC are more potent in macrophages than in HeLa-derived P4 tumor cells. Mutant viruses bearing thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs) or the K65R mutation had similar resistance levels in the two cell types. Strikingly, however, the M184V mutant, although fully resistant to 3TC in P4 cells, maintained some susceptibility to 3TC in macrophages from 8 of 11 donors. Using the same system, we found that the impact of resistance mutations on HIV RC was minimal in activated PBMC and in P4 cells. In contrast, mutant viruses exhibited strongly impaired RC relative to the wild type (WT) in macrophages, with the following RC order: WT > two TAMs > four TAMs = M184V > K65R. In undifferentiated monocytes, WT virus replication could be detected in three of six donors, but replication of all mutant viruses remained undetectable. Altogether, our results confirm that nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are powerful antiviral agents in differentiated macrophages, reveal that HIV resistance to some NRTIs may be less efficient in these cells, and indicate that resistance-associated loss of RC is more pronounced in macrophages than in high-dNTP content cell systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4540-4550
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


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