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Hum Immunol. 2002 Dec;63(12):1206-12.

Natural type 1 interferon producing cells in HIV infection.

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Department of Hematology, Hopital Necker, Paris, France.


Natural type 1 interferon producing cells (IPCs) are in the first line of defense against infectious pathogens. Besides the known properties of type 1 interferons in inhibiting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication, the recent characterization of human IPCs and the possibility to purify them for in vitro studies has greatly accelerated the study of their role in HIV infection. The blood IPC numbers and function are decreased in HIV primary infection and in advanced stages of HIV infection. Loss of circulating IPCs correlates with a high HIV viral load and the occurrence of opportunistic infections. Moreover, HIV can directly infect IPCs in vitro, providing a potential explanation for their in vivo depletion. Thus, the balance between IPCs and HIV replication might be critical in determining the control or progression of HIV infection.

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