Comparative Analysis of Human Microglial Models for Studies of HIV Replication and Pathogenesis
Background: HIV associated neurocognitive disorders cause significant morbidity and mortality despite the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy. A deeper understanding of fundamental mechanisms underlying HIV infection and pathogenesis in the central nervous system is warranted. Microglia are resident myeloid cells of the brain that are readily infected by HIV and may constitute a CNS reservoir. We evaluated two microglial model cell lines (C20, HMC3) and two sources of primary
... of primary cell-derived microglia (monocyte-derived microglia [MMG] and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived microglia [iPSC-MG]) as potential model systems for studying HIV-microglia interactions.Results: All four microglial model cells expressed typical myeloid markers with the exception of low or absent CD45 and CD11b expression by C20 and HMC3, and all four expressed the microglia-specific markers P2RY12 and TMEM119. Marked differences were observed upon gene expression profiling, however, indicating that MMG and iPSC-MG cluster closely together with primary human microglial cells, while C20 and HMC3 were similar to each other but very different from primary microglia. Expression of HIV-relevant genes also revealed important differences, with iPSC-MG and MMG expressing relevant genes at levels more closely resembling primary microglia. iPSC-MG and MMG were readily infected with R5-tropic HIV, while C20 and HMC3 lack CD4 and require pseudotyping for infection. Despite many similarities, HIV replication dynamics and HIV-1 particle capture by Siglec-1 differed markedly between the MMG and iPSC-MG.Conclusions: MMG and iPSC-MG appear to be viable microglial models that are susceptible to HIV infection and bear more similarities to authentic microglia than two transformed microglia cell lines. The observed differences in HIV replication and particle capture between MMG and iPSC-MG warrant further study.