Splenic Interdigitating Dendritic Cells in Humans: Characterization and HIV Infection Frequency in Vivo
In humans, dendritic cells have mainly been characterized from the blood and, as Langerhans cells, from skin samples 1. Langerhans cells express the CD4 receptor and were found infected by HIV in vivo in several reports2–4 . Peripheral blood dendritic cells express CD4 only as freshly isolated precursors and not as mature cells 5. Reports on their infection by HIV in vivo and in vitro are controversial, probably because of the difficulty of obtaining pure populations6–9. However, as could be predicted from their major role in antigen presentation, it was shown in vitro that they could transmit the virus very efficiently to T lymphocytes during the course of a superantigen presentation 7. Since antigen presentation to T cells occurs in secondary lymphoid organs, and since the highest numbers of HIV-infected cells in patients can be found in these organs 10–12, isolation methods derived from the published methods used for peripheral blood dendritic cells were adapted to the spleen.
KeywordsDendritic Cell Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Infection Frequency Mature Dendritic Cell Splenic Dendritic Cell
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