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Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Macrophage Activation and HIV Infection: Can the Trojan Horse Turn into a Fortress?

Author(s): G. Herbein, A. Coaquette, D. Perez-Bercoff and G. Pancino

Volume 2, Issue 8, 2002

Page: [723 - 738] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/1566524023361844

Price: $65


Macrophages are infected early during HIV infection and are thought to play the role of a Trojan horse by spreading infection in tissues. Most recent studies point out to a more complex role for macrophages in HIV infection: macrophages could contribute to both host defense and viral persistence and pathogenesis. Infected macrophages are a reservoir for HIV and modulate apoptosis of T cells present in their vicinity. Also, a functional impairment of HIV-infected macrophages may play a role in AIDS pathogenesis. Nevertheless, both activation and differentiation of monocyte / macrophages can interfere with susceptibility of these cells to infection. Therefore, a wide variety of stimuli result in HIV suppression through macrophage activation. At present times, a dynamic view on the role of macrophages in HIV infection arises which indicates that macrophages are a target for the virus and at the same time regulate its replication. Therefore, macrophages are at the cross-road between protection and pathogenesis in HIV infection due to their involvement both as a viral target and a key modulator of non-specific and specific immune responses. Future studies will help unravel the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie HIV-macrophage interactions and might result in new vaccine and / or therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: Macrophage Activation, HIV Infection, Trojan Horse

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