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Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Mar;11(3):176-86. doi: 10.1038/nri2935.

DCs and NK cells: critical effectors in the immune response to HIV-1.

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  • 1Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) and natural killer (NK) cells have central roles in antiviral immunity by shaping the quality of the adaptive immune response to viruses and by mediating direct antiviral activity. HIV-1 infection is characterized by a severe dysregulation of the antiviral immune response that starts during early infection. This Review describes recent insights into how HIV-1 infection affects DC and NK cell function, and the roles of these innate immune cells in HIV-1 pathogenesis. The importance of understanding DC and NK cell crosstalk during HIV infection for the development of effective antiviral strategies is also discussed.

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