Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26514383
Biol Aujourdhui 2015;209(2):135-44
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) represent the first line of host defense against viruses and are an essential link between innate and adaptive immunity. The antiviral factor IFN-α is massively produced by pDCs in response to HIV infection and induces the expression of cellular genes that interfere with viral replication (ISG). Indeed, type I IFN produced by pDCs has a direct anti-viral activity against HIV and has important adjuvant function on other immune cell-types, such as T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. However, the role of type I IFN in HIV disease is complex and may depend on the stage of the disease. The immunologic hallmark of HIV infection is a status of chronic and progressive immune activation, which drives the immune system to exhaustion and leads to severe immunodeficiency. There is now strong evidence that chronic activation of pDCs may promote HIV pathogenesis and have an impact on adaptive T-cell response. Thus, targeting pDCs and type I IFN may open new therapeutic strategies for chronically activated HIV patients.