Human T-cell leukemia virus type I infection of monocytes and microglial cells in primary human cultures

Paul M. Hoffman, Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, Judy A. Mikovits, Deanna S. Robbins, Aizik L. Wolf, Gregory K. Bergey, Nancy C. Lohrey, Owen S. Weislow, Francis W. Ruscetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of progressive spastic paraparesis [HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP)], a serious consequence of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) infection, is unclear. T and B lymphocytes can be naturally infected by HTLV-I, but the susceptibility to HTLV-I infection of other cell types that could contribute to the pathogenesis of HAM/TSP has not been determined. We found that a human monocyte cell line (THP-1), primary human peripheral blood monocytes, and isolated microglial cells but not astrocytes or oligodendroglial cells derived from adult human brain were infected by HTLV-I in vitro. Infection with HTLV-I enhanced the secretion of interleukin 6 in human microglial cell-enriched cultures but did not stimulate the release of interleukin 1 from monocytes or microglial cells. Tumor necrosis factor α production was stimulated by HTLV-I infection of monocytes and microglial cells and could be enhanced by suboptimal amounts of lipopolysaccharide. Since both tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6 have been implicated in inflammatory demyelination and gliosis, our findings suggest that human microglial cells and monocytes infected with and activated by HTLV-I could play a role in the pathogenesis of HAM/TSP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11784-11788
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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