The identification of CD4 as the primary receptor for HIV followed shortly after the discovery of the virus, but the HTLV receptor remained long elusive, until its recent identification as the GLUT1 glucose transporter. In the present review, we describe the status of the literature that surrounded this discovery as well as the in vitro and in vivo observations that led to the identification of GLUT1. Also, we will explore a few tracks to conciliate the in vitro and in vivo data on HTLV-1 tropism within the context of the HTLV literature that has accumulated over the past 25 years. A close examination of these data leads us to conclude that the preferential detection of HTLV-1 in CD4+ T lymphocyte subsets in vivo, even in the absence of leukemia, is not likely to be directly related to envelope receptor interactions, but rather to an array of postentry selection bottlenecks in vivo. Furthermore, we propose that infection of other hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells is likely to take place during the lifetime of an individual, with a burst early during the infection.