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Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of dendritic cells (DCs) has been documented in vivo and may be an important contributor to HIV-1 transmission and pathogenesis. HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T cells respond to HIV antigens presented by HIV-1-infected DCs and in this process become infected, thereby providing a mechanism through which HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T cells could become preferentially infected in vivo. HIV-2 disease is attenuated with respect to HIV-1 disease, and host immune responses are thought to be contributory. Here we investigated the susceptibility of primary myeloid DCs (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) to infection by HIV-2. We found that neither CCR5-tropic primary HIV-2 isolates nor a lab-adapted CXCR4-tropic HIV-2 strain could efficiently infect mDCs or pDCs, though these viruses could infect primary CD4(+) T cells in vitro. HIV-2-exposed mDCs were also incapable of transferring virus to autologous CD4(+) T cells. Despite this, we found that HIV-2-specific CD4(+) T cells contained more viral DNA than memory CD4(+) T cells of other specificities in vivo. These data suggest that either infection of DCs is not an important contributor to infection of HIV-2-specific CD4(+) T cells in vivo or that infection of DCs by HIV-2 occurs at a level that is undetectable in vitro. The frequent carriage of HIV-2 DNA within HIV-2-specific CD4(+) T cells, however, does not appear to be incompatible with preserved numbers and functionality of HIV-2-specific CD4(+) T cells in vivo, suggesting that additional mechanisms contribute to maintenance of HIV-2-specific CD4(+) T-cell help in vivo.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/JVI.00976-07

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Virol

Publication Date

12/2007

Volume

81

Pages

13486 - 13498

Keywords

Antigen Presentation, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Differentiation, Coculture Techniques, DNA, Viral, Dendritic Cells, Flow Cytometry, HIV-1, HIV-2, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Lymphocyte Activation, Polymerase Chain Reaction