Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Interactions with Macaque Dendritic Cells

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Abstract

This chapter summarizes advances in the following areas: (1) dendritic cell (DC)-mediated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) transmission, (2) role of DCs in innate and adaptive immunity against SIV, and (3) approaches to harness DC function to induce anti-SIV responses. The nonhuman primate (NHP) model of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in rhesus macaques and other Asian NHP species is highly relevant to advance the understanding of virus–host interactions critical for transmission and disease pathogenesis. HIV infection is associated with changes in frequency, phenotype, and function of the two principal subsets of DCs, myeloid DCs and plasmacytoid DCs. DC biology during pathogenic SIV infection is strikingly similar to that observed in HIV-infected patients. The NHP models provide an opportunity to dissect the requirements for DC-driven SIV infection and to understand how SIV distorts the DC system to its advantage. Furthermore, the SIV model of mucosal transmission enables the study of the earliest events of infection at the portal of entry that cannot be studied in humans, and, importantly, the involvement of DCs. Nonpathogenic infection in African NHP hosts allows investigations into the role of DCs in disease control. Understanding how DCs are altered during SIV infection is critical to the design of therapeutic and preventative strategies against HIV.