Follicular Dendritic Cells Retain Infectious HIV in Cycling Endosomes

Balthasar A. Heesters, Madelene Lindqvist, Parsia A. Vagefi, Eileen P. Scully, Frank A. Schildberg, Marcus Altfeld, Bruce D. Walker, Daniel E. Kaufmann, Michael C. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Despite the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART), it does not cure Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and discontinuation results in viral rebound. Follicular dendritic cells (FDC) are in direct contact with CD4+ T cells and they retain intact antigen for prolonged periods. We found that human FDC isolated from patients on ART retain infectious HIV within a non-degradative cycling compartment and transmit infectious virus to uninfected CD4 T cells in vitro. Importantly, treatment of the HIV+ FDC with a soluble complement receptor 2 purges the FDC of HIV virions and prevents viral transmission in vitro. Our results provide an explanation for how FDC can retain infectious HIV for extended periods and suggest a therapeutic strategy to achieve cure in HIV-infected humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1005285
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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