Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Immune control of HIV-1 reservoirs

Autran, Brigitte; Descours, Benjamin; Bacchus, Charline

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: May 2013 - Volume 8 - Issue 3 - p 204–210
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32835fe6d2
STATE OF HIV CURE: Edited by Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Michael M. Lederman

Purpose of review To discuss the recent major advances in the understanding of how host immune defenses contribute to HIV reservoir control.

Recent findings Immune control of HIV-1 reservoirs is a two-step process: viral replication activation from latent reservoirs followed by elimination of virus-expressing cells by the host. Environmental factors, such as pro-inflammatory type-I interferon, chemokines or cytokines, can facilitate HIV-1 replication, confer dormancy in CD4+ cells or confer resistance to cytopathogenic effects of cytotoxic CD8 T cells. Therefore, they constitute a double-edged sword for immune control of HIV reservoirs. Concomitantly, adaptive immunity takes advantage of CD4 T-cell homeostatic mechanisms and can expose HIV-1 antigen-expressing cells to HIV-specific cytotoxic CD8 T cells, and limit virus spreading. These highly interconnected phenomena can lead to quasi-equilibrium between the HIV-1 reservoirs and host immune control that can serve as a model for the ‘shock and kill’ immune-based therapeutic strategies in play in the course of finding an HIV cure.

Summary Immune control of HIV reservoirs in CD4 T cells involves modulation of both HIV-1 latency and the continuous reseeding of the reservoir offering conceptual models that may advance HIV cure strategies.

Laboratory Immunity and Infection, UMR-S 945 UPMC-INSERM, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

Correspondence to Brigitte Autran, Département d’Immunologie, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, 83, boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France. Tel: +33 1 42 17 74 81; fax: +33 1 42 17 74 90; e-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.