In vitro derived dendritic cells trans-infect CD4 T cells primarily with surface-bound HIV-1 virions

PLoS Pathog. 2007 Jan;3(1):e4. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.0030004.


In the prevailing model of HIV-1 trans-infection, dendritic cells (DCs) capture and internalize intact virions and transfer these virions to interacting T cells at the virological synapse. Here, we show that HIV-1 virions transmitted in trans from in vitro derived DCs to T cells principally originate from the surface of DCs. Selective neutralization of surface-bound virions abrogated trans-infection by monocyte-derived DCs and CD34-derived Langerhans cells. Under conditions mimicking antigen recognition by the interacting T cells, most transferred virions still derived from the cell surface, although a few were transferred from an internal compartment. Our findings suggest that attachment inhibitors could neutralize trans-infection of T cells by DCs in vivo.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Dendritic Cells / virology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Virion / pathogenicity*