Vaginal Langerhans cells non-productively transporting HIV-1 mediate infection of T cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of virology, Volume 85, Issue 24, p.13443-7 (2011)


2011, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Movement, Center-Authored Paper, Female, HIV Infection, HIV-1, Humans, Langerhans Cells, October 2011, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Vagina


Although implied by other models, proof has been lacking that Langerhans cells (LCs) in the human vagina participate in dissemination of infectious HIV-1. Here, we show that LCs migrate from HIV-1 exposed vaginal epithelia and pass infectious virus to CD4(+) T cells without being productively infected themselves, and point to a pathway that might enable HIV-1 to avoid degradation in vaginal LCs. Transport by migratory LCs to local lymphatics in a non-productive but infectious form may aid HIV-1 to evade topical microbicides that target its intracellular productive life cycle.