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Myeloid dendritic cells in HIV-1 infection

Derby, Nina; Martinelli, Elena; Robbiani, Melissa

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: September 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 5 - p 379–384
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e3283499d63
Innate immunity: Edited by William A. Paxton and Teunis B.H. Geijtenbeek

Purpose of review Myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) are pivotal players in HIV-1 infection. They promote transmission and spread and at the same time are critical for recognizing HIV-1 and initiating immune responses to fight infection. Notably, their immunostimulatory capabilities can be harnessed to design better HIV-1 vaccines. In this review, advances in these areas of mDC–HIV-1 interactions are summarized.

Recent findings New insights into HIV-1-induced dysfunction of mDCs and dysfunctional mDC effects on other cell types, as well as novel mechanisms of viral sensing by mDCs and their evasion by HIV-1, have been uncovered. These results emphasize the importance of mDCs in protection against HIV-1 infection. Targeting mDCs with vaccines and tailored adjuvants may improve the quality and anatomical location of elicited immune responses.

Summary Understanding the multiplicity of HIV-1–dendritic cell interactions together with the numerous advances in targeted therapy and vaccination will help in the rational design of approaches to treat and block infection.

Center for Biomedical Research, Population Council, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Melissa Robbiani, Senior Scientist and Director of Biomedical HIV Research, Center for Biomedical Research, HIV and AIDS Program, Population Council, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USATel: +1 212 327 7794; fax: +1 212 327 7764; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.