Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of T lymphocytes requires cellular proliferation and DNA synthesis. Human monocytes were shown to have low DNA synthesis rates, yet the monocytotropic BaL isolate of HIV-1 was able to infect these cells efficiently. Monocytes that were irradiated to assure no DNA synthesis could also be readily infected with HIV-1BaL. Such infections were associated with the integration of HIV-1BaL DNA into the high molecular weight, chromosomal DNA of monocytes. Thus, normal, nonproliferating monocytes differ from T lymphocytes in that a productive HIV-1 infection can occur independently of cellular DNA synthesis. These results suggest that normal nonproliferating mononuclear phagocytes, which are relatively resistant to the destructive effects of this virus, may serve as persistent and productive reservoirs for HIV-1 in vivo.

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