Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22480868
Exp. Cell Res. 2012 Jul;318(11):1260-8
IFN-α is rapidly upregulated in response to viral infections and it is an essential player in innate immunity against viruses. pDCs are the most potent IFN-α-producing cells and serve as an essential link between innate and adaptive immunity. The fate of pDCs in the course of HIV-1 infection is still a matter of debate, and the question of the detrimental role of chronic production of IFN-α remains open. In particular, IFN-α has been shown to induce the expression of the death ligand TRAIL on pDCs, transforming them into killer pDCs that may contribute to the destruction of CD4(+) T cells, the hallmark of HIV-1-induced disease. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of the protective and pathogenic roles of both IFN-α and TRAIL in HIV-1 disease.