BACKGROUND: CCR5 and CXCR4 are the two main coreceptors essential for HIV entry. Therefore, these chemokine receptors have become important targets in the search for anti-HIV agents. Here, we describe the establishment of a novel CD4+ cell line, U87.CD4.CCR5.CXCR4, stably expressing both CCR5 and CXCR4 at the cell surface. RESULTS: In these cells, intracellular calcium signalling through both receptors can be measured in a single experiment upon the sequential addition of CXCR4- and CCR5-directed chemokines. The U87.CD4.CCR5.CXCR4 cell line reliably supported HIV-1 infection of diverse laboratory-adapted strains and primary isolates with varying coreceptor usage (R5, X4 and R5/X4) and allows to investigate the antiviral efficacy of combined CCR5 and CXCR4 blockade. The antiviral effects recorded in these cells with the CCR5 antagonist SCH-C and the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 were similar to those noted in the single CCR5- or CXCR4-transfected U87.CD4 cells. Furthermore, the combination of both inhibitors blocked the infection of all evaluated HIV-1 strains and isolates. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, the U87.CD4.CCR5.CXCR4 cell line should be useful in the evaluation of CCR5 and CXCR4 antagonists with therapeutic potential and combinations thereof.