The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) causes various hematopoietic abnormalities, with thrombocytopenia (TP) occurring in 30% of infected individuals. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether HIV-1 in the bone marrow of TP patients can infect primary megakaryocytes in vitro, which may contribute to the development of thrombocytopenia. We amplified the V3 loop of HIV-1 envelope from the bone marrow of TP and non-TP patients and constructed recombinant viruses. We demonstrate that the bone marrow of TP and non-TP patients contained R5 strains, whereas X4 strains were present only in the bone marrow of TP patients. Furthermore, HIV-1 from the bone marrow of TP and non-TP patients infected megakaryocytes to similar levels, suggesting that the V3 loop of HIV-1 may not contain the viral determinants of HIV-associated TP. Chemokine receptor analysis determined that CD34+-cell- derived megakaryocytes express CD4, CXCR4, and CCR5 and are productively infected by both X4 and R5 HIV-1 isolates. Finally, we showed that CD34+- cell-derived megakaryocytes express the chemokine receptor CCR3. (C) 2000 Academic Press.