Advances in Virus Research, Volume 95 - Chapter Two: Cell-to-Cell Spread of HIV and Viral Pathogenesis

Elsevier, Advances in Virus Research, Volume 95, 2016
Law K.M., Satija N., Esposito A.M., Chen B.K.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gives rise to a chronic infection that progressively depletes CD4+ T lymphocytes. CD4+ T lymphocytes play a central coordinating role in adaptive cellular and humoral immune responses, and to do so they migrate and interact within lymphoid compartments and at effector sites to mount immune responses. While cell-free virus serves as an excellent prognostic indicator for patient survival, interactions of infected T cells or virus-scavenging immune cells with uninfected T cells can greatly enhance viral spread. HIV can induce interactions between infected and uninfected T cells that are triggered by cell surface expression of viral Env, which serves as a cell adhesion molecule that interacts with CD4 on the target cell, before it acts as the viral membrane fusion protein. These interactions are called virological synapses and promote replication in the face of selective pressure of humoral immune responses and antiretroviral therapy. Other infection-enhancing cell-cell interactions occur between virus-concentrating antigen-presenting cells and recipient T cells, called infectious synapses. The exact roles that these cell-cell interactions play in each stage of infection, from viral acquisition, systemic dissemination, to chronic persistence are still being determined. Infection-promoting immune cell interactions are likely to contribute to viral persistence and enhance the ability of HIV-1 to evade adaptive immune responses. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.