Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2008 - Volume 3 - Issue 5 > Mucosal immunity to HIV: a review of recent literature
Current Opinion in HIV & AIDS:
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32830ab9ee
Microbicides: Edited by John Kaldor and Melissa Robbiani

Mucosal immunity to HIV: a review of recent literature

Shacklett, Barbara L

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Abstract

Purpose of review: This review summarizes recent literature in the field of mucosal immunology as it applies to HIV transmission and pathogenesis.

Recent findings: Pertinent recent findings include elucidation of the role of mucosal antigen-presenting cells and retinoic acid in imprinting a gut-homing phenotype on antigen-specific T and B cells, and the identification of Th17 and T regulatory cells as key modulators of the balance between tolerance and inflammation in mucosal tissues.

Summary: Mucosal surfaces of the body serve as the major portal of entry for HIV. These tissues also house a majority of the body's lymphocytes, including the CD4+ T-cells that are the major cellular target for HIV infection. Elucidating mucosal immune responses is critical to our understanding of the host–pathogen relationship for two reasons: first, mucosal barriers are defended by a range of innate and adaptive defenses that might be exploited to develop effective vaccines or microbicides; second, adaptive immune responses in mucosal lymphoid tissues might serve to limit viral replication, decreasing the host's viral burden as well as reducing the likelihood of sexual transmission to a naïve host.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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