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J Leukoc Biol. 2003 Nov;74(5):710-8. Epub 2003 Sep 2.

The role of dendritic cell C-type lectin receptors in HIV pathogenesis.

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Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Millennium Institute, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.


Dendritic cells play a major role in HIV pathogenesis. Epithelial dendritic cells appear to be one of the first cells infected after sexual transmission and transfer of the virus to CD4 lymphocytes, simultaneously activating these cells to produce high levels of HIV replication. Such transfer may occur locally in inflamed mucosa or after dendritic cells have matured and migrated to local lymph nodes. Therefore, the mechanism of binding, internalization, infection and transfer of HIV to CD4 lymphocytes is of great interest. Recently, the role of the C-type lectin DC-SIGN as a dendritic cell receptor for HIV has been intensively studied with in vitro monocyte-derived dendritic cells. However, it is clear that other C-type lectin receptors such as Langerin on Langerhan cells and mannose receptor on dermal dendritic cells are at least equally important for gp120 binding on epithelial dendritic cells. C-type lectin receptors play a role in virus transfer to T cells, either via de novo infection ("cis transfer") or without infection ("in trans" or transinfection). Both these processes are important in vitro, and both may have a role in vivo, although the low-level infection of immature dendritic cells may be more important as it leads to R5 HIV strain selection and persistence of virus within dendritic cells for at least 24 h, sufficient for these cells to transit to lymph nodes. The exact details of these processes are currently the subject of intense study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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