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Viruses. 2010 Aug;2(8):1704-17. doi: 10.3390/v2081704. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Dendritic Cells and HIV-1 Trans-Infection.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA; E-Mail:


Dendritic cells initiate and sustain immune responses by migrating to sites of pathogenic insult, transporting antigens to lymphoid tissues and signaling immune specific activation of T cells through the formation of the immunological synapse. Dendritic cells can also transfer intact, infectious HIV-1 to CD4 T cells through an analogous structure, the infectious synapse. This replication independent mode of HIV-1 transmission, known as trans-infection, greatly increases T cell infection in vitro and is thought to contribute to viral dissemination in vivo. This review outlines the recent data defining the mechanisms of trans-infection and provides a context for the potential contribution of trans-infection in HIV-1 disease.


C-type lectin receptor; antigen presentation; infectious synapse; myeloid dendritic cell; trans-infection

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