Abstract: The wide range of disease pathologies seen in multiple organ sites associated with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection results from the systemic hematogenous dissemination of the virus, which is mediated predominately by infected monocytes. In addition to their role in viral spread, infected monocytes are also known to play a key role in viral latency and life-long persistence. However, in order to utilize infected monocytes for viral spread and persistence, HCMV must overcome a number of monocyte biological hurdles, including their naturally short lifespan and their inability to support viral gene expression and replication. Our laboratory has shown that HCMV is able to manipulate the biology of infected monocytes in order to overcome these biological hurdles by inducing the survival and differentiation of infected monocytes into long-lived macrophages capable of supporting viral gene expression and replication. In this current review, we describe the unique aspects of how HCMV promotes monocyte survival and differentiation by inducing a “finely-tuned” macrophage cell type following infection. Specifically, we describe the induction of a uniquely polarized macrophage subset from infected monocytes, which we argue is the ideal cellular environment for the initiation of viral gene expression and replication and, ultimately, viral spread and persistence within the infected host.
Keywords: HCMV; monocyte; macrophage; polarization; survival; signaling; receptor-ligand; viral persistence; viral dissemination
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Stevenson, E.V.; Collins-McMillen, D.; Kim, J.H.; Cieply, S.J.; Bentz, G.L.; Yurochko, A.D. HCMV Reprogramming of Infected Monocyte Survival and Differentiation: A Goldilocks Phenomenon. Viruses 2014, 6, 782-807.
Stevenson EV, Collins-McMillen D, Kim JH, Cieply SJ, Bentz GL, Yurochko AD. HCMV Reprogramming of Infected Monocyte Survival and Differentiation: A Goldilocks Phenomenon. Viruses. 2014; 6(2):782-807.
Stevenson, Emily V.; Collins-McMillen, Donna; Kim, Jung H.; Cieply, Stephen J.; Bentz, Gretchen L.; Yurochko, Andrew D. 2014. "HCMV Reprogramming of Infected Monocyte Survival and Differentiation: A Goldilocks Phenomenon." Viruses 6, no. 2: 782-807.