Plasmacytoid dendritic cells accumulate in spleens from chronically HIV-infected patients but barely participate in interferon-alpha expression.
ABSTRACT We characterized the localization, phenotype, and some functions of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) in the human spleen. pDCs were localized in the marginal zone and the periarteriolar region. Some were also found in the red pulp. pDCs were immature by phenotypic labeling, consistently with their capacity to internalize Dextran in a functional assay. In spleens from HIV-infected patients with thrombocytopenic purpura, these characteristics were unaffected. However, an accumulation of pDCs, but not myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), was observed in some HIV+ patients, correlating with high proviral loads. Moreover, although undetectable in most HIV- patients, interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) production was evidenced in situ and by flow cytometry in most HIV+ patients. IFN-alpha was located in the marginal zone. Surprisingly, IFN-alpha colocalized only with few pDCs, but rather with other cells, including T and B lymphocytes, mDCs, and macrophages. Therefore, pDCs accumulated in spleens from HIV+ patients with high proviral loads, but they did not seem to be the main IFN-alpha producers.
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ABSTRACT: Type-I interferons (IFN-I) are cytokines essential for vertebrate antiviral defense, including against herpesviruses. IFN-I have potent direct antiviral activities and also mediate a multiplicity of immunoregulatory functions, which can either promote or dampen antiviral adaptive immune responses. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are the professional producers of IFN-I in response to many viruses, including all of the herpesviruses tested. There is strong evidence that pDCs could play a major role in the initial orchestration of both innate and adaptive antiviral immune responses. Depending on their activation pattern, pDC responses may be either protective or detrimental to the host. Here, we summarize and discuss current knowledge regarding pDC implication in the physiopathology of mouse and human herpesvirus infections, and we discuss how pDC functions could be manipulated in immunotherapeutic settings to promote health over disease.Viruses 12/2009; 1(3):383-419. · 1.50 Impact Factor