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AIDS. 2012 Jan 28;26(3):263-73. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834ed8df.

Myeloid dendritic cells isolated from tissues of SIV-infected Rhesus macaques promote the induction of regulatory T cells.

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Division of Molecular Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio, USA.



To determine whether the ability of primary myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) to induce regulatory T cells (Treg) is affected by chronic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection.


Modulation of dendritic cell activity with the aim of influencing Treg frequency may lead to new treatment options for HIV and strategies for vaccine development.


Eleven chronically infected SIV(+) Rhesus macaques were compared with four uninfected animals. Immature and mature mDCs were isolated from mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen by cell sorting and cultured with purified autologous non-Treg (CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells). CD25 and FOXP3 up-regulation was used to assess Treg induction.


The frequency of splenic mDC and plasmacytoid dendritic cell was lower in infected animals than in uninfected animals; their frequency in the mesenteric lymph nodes was not significantly altered, but the percentage of mature mDCs was increased in the mesenteric lymph nodes of infected animals. Mature splenic or mesenteric mDCs from infected animals were significantly more efficient at inducing Treg than mDCs from uninfected animals. Mature mDCs from infected macaques induced more conversion than immature mDCs. Splenic mDCs were as efficient as mesenteric mDCs in this context and CD103 expression by mDCs did not appear to influence the level of conversion.


Tissue mDCs from SIV-infected animals exhibit an enhanced capability to induce Treg and may contribute to the accumulation of Treg in lymphoid tissues during progressive infection. The activation status of dendritic cell impacts this process but the capacity to induce Treg was not restricted to mucosal dendritic cells in infected animals.

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