TY - JOUR T1 - HIV-1 Buds Predominantly at the Plasma Membrane of Primary Human Macrophages A1 - Welsch, Sonja A1 - Keppler, Oliver T A1 - Habermann, Anja A1 - Allespach, Ina A1 - Krijnse-Locker, Jacomine A1 - Kräusslich, Hans-Georg Y1 - 2007/03/23 N2 -
Macrophages are one of the major target cells for HIV-1 infection and play an important role in viral pathogenesis. Previous studies indicated that the pathway of HIV-1 particle morphogenesis is distinct in primary human macrophages, and this has been suggested to play a role in viral persistence. Early reports indicated that HIV-1 accumulates within apparently intracellular vacuolar structures, which were later identified as being of late endosomal origin. Endosomes were therefore suggested to comprise the budding and storage compartment for HIV-1 in primary human macrophages, from which infectious virus can be released in a regulated manner. In the present study, we show that HIV-1 budding occurs predominantly at the plasma membrane also in primary human macrophages. Using electron microscopy, we observed that the cell surface of macrophages displays an unexpectedly complex morphology with many protrusions and deep invaginations. HIV-1 budding occurs primarily at these invaginations that are clearly connected to the cell surface and do not belong to the endocytic compartment. Mature virus particles can remain trapped within such invaginations giving the appearance of an intracellular budding compartment. These results suggest a general pathway of HIV-1 morphogenesis with the plasma membrane as viral budding site.