Long-lived HIV-1 reservoirs include tissue macrophages. Monocyte-derived macrophages are more susceptible to infection and more permissive to HIV-1 replication than monocytes for reasons that may include the effects of different populations of miRNAs in these two cell classes. Specifically, miRs-28-3p, -150, -223, -198, and -382 exert direct or indirect negative effects on HIV-1 and are reportedly downmodulated during monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation. Here, new experimental results are presented along with reviews and analysis of published studies and publicly available datasets, supporting a broader role of miRNAs in HIV-1 restriction than would be suggested by a simple and uniform downregulation of anti-HIV miRNAs during monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation. Although miR-223 is downregulated in macrophages, other putatively antiviral miRNAs are more abundant in macrophages than in monocytes or are rare and/or variably present in both cell classes. Our analyses point to the need for further studies to determine miRNA profiles of monocytes and macrophages, including classic and newly identified subpopulations; examine the sensitivity of miRNA profiling to cell isolation and differentiation protocols; and characterize rigorously the antiviral effects of previously reported and novel predicted miRNA-HIV-1 interactions in cell-specific contexts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases