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A look at HIV journey: from dendritic cells to infection spread in CD4+ T cells

Blanchet, Fabiena; Moris, Arnaudb; Mitchell, John Paula; Piguet, Vincenta

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: September 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 5 - p 391–397
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e328349b0a0
Innate immunity: Edited by William A. Paxton and Teunis B.H. Geijtenbeek

Purpose of review Dendritic cells and their subsets are among the very first immune cells to tackle incoming pathogens and initiate innate and adaptive immune responses. During the past year, some studies investigating the early events occurring at mucosal sites, upon HIV infection, reinforced our view that the virus has evolved subtle strategies to hijack key cellular components in dendritic cells, thus leading to viral acquisition and dissemination while dampening or delaying antiviral responses.

Recent findings In this review, we will detail recent research aimed at investigating the involvement of different dendritic cell subtypes on HIV transmission at mucosal sites, the events and cellular factors in dendritic cell guiding HIV trafficking, and polarization at the virological synapse. Furthermore, we will link some of these basic findings with current and novel therapeutic and prophylactic strategies targeting the early events of mucosal HIV transmission.

Summary It is becoming evident that a better characterization of the early events of HIV transmission and the involvement of dendritic cell subtypes in this process would contribute to strengthen our efforts to improve the current therapeutic and prophylactic strategies.

aDepartment of Dermatology and Wound Healing, Cardiff University School of Medicine and University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, Wales, UK

bInstitut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale UMRS945, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris-6, Paris, France

Correspondence to Vincent Piguet, Department of Dermatology and Wound Healing, The Welsh Institute of Dermatology, 3rd Floor, Glamorgan House Cardiff University and University Hospital of Wales Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, Wales, UK Tel: +44 29 20 744721; fax: +44 29 20 744312; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.