Dendritic cell function in HIV infection

Elizabeth Miller, Nina Bhardwaj, Meagan O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells that serve as critical links between innate and adaptive immunity. Recent advances have revealed that DC interactions with HIV are pleiotropic. As direct antimicrobial effector cells, DCs may play a role in whether HIV infection is established upon mucosal exposure. As potent antigen-presenting cells, DCs probably modulate control of chronic HIV disease through the priming of adaptive immune responses. By contrast, DCs may contribute to HIV pathogenesis through the enhancement of T-cell infection, production of inflammatory cytokines that lead to chronic immune activation (and a proapoptotic state) and the formation of suppressive T-regulatory cells. In this article, recent progress in the field of HIV-DC interactions, including mucosal infection and HIV transmission to T cells, DC infection and activation, DC number and function in acute and chronic HIV infection, and DC immunoregulatory effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-537
Number of pages11
JournalHIV Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic cell
  • HIV
  • IFN-α
  • Immune activation
  • Langerhans cell
  • Myeloid dendritic cell
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cell
  • Regulatory T cell
  • cis-infection
  • trans-infection


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