To characterize the role of the humoral immune response on HIV-1 infection of monocytes and macrophages (M phi s) we examined the susceptibility of in vitro cultured monocyte/M phi s to various HIV-1 isolates and the influence of heterologous and particularly autologous anti HIV-1 sera on this infection. Depending on the period of in vitro cultivation and the virus isolate used different patterns of susceptibility were detected. One week old monocyte/M phi s were highly susceptible to HIV-1 infection, in contrast to monocyte/M phi s cultured 4 weeks. The infection by virus isolated immediately after seroconversion lead to persistent infection with high level of antigen production in contrast to infection by homologous virus isolated later. MAb against the V3-IIIB loop and sCD4 inhibited the infection of monocyte/M phi s in a dose dependent manner, indicating that infection requires binding to CD4 and that post binding events may be common to the infection of lymphocytes. Anti HIV-1 sera showed neutralizing activity against heterologous and even autologous escape virus. This finding, together with the observation that monocytes and M phi s are infected in vivo, suggests that protection against HIV-1 infection of monocytes and M phi s in vivo may not be obtainable by the humoral immune response alone.
Archives of Virology, 1994, Vol 136, Issue 1-2, p. 35-52