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cell maturation, T lymphocyte, dendritic cell, HIV-1, Vesicular stomatitis virus, virus infectivity


The infection of cultured monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) with HIV-1 involves CD4 and CCR5 receptors, while transmission to T cells is enhanced at least in part by the lectin DC-SIGN/CD209. In the present study, we studied BDCA-1+ myeloid DCs isolated directly from human blood. These cells express CD4 and low levels of CCR5 and CXCR4 coreceptors, but not DC-SIGN. The myeloid DCs replicate two R5 viruses, BaL and YU2, and transfer infection to activated T cells. The virus productively infects a small fraction of the blood DCs that fail to mature in culture, as indicated by the maturation markers CD83 and DC-LAMP/ CD208, and the expression of high CD86 and MHC class II, in contrast to many noninfected DCs. A greater proportion of BDCA-1+ DCs are infected when the virus is pseudotyped with the vesicular stomatitis envelope VSV-G (5-15%), as compared with the RS virus (0.3-3.5%), indicating that HIV-1 coreceptors may limit the susceptibility of DCs to become infected, or the endocytic route of viral entry used by HIV/vesicular stomatitis virus enhances infectivity. When infected and noninfected cells are purified by cell sorting, the former uniformly express HIV p24 gag and are virtually inactive as stimulators of the allogeneic MLR, in contrast to potent stimulation by noninfected DCs from the same cultures. These results point to two roles for a small fraction of blood DCs in HIV-1 pathogenesis: to support productive infection and to evade the direct induction of T cell-mediated immunity.


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