Mutz-3-derived Langerhans cells are a model to study HIV-1 transmission and potential inhibitors

Marein A. W. P. de Jong, Lot de Witte, Saskia J. A. M. Santegoets, Donna Fluitsma, Maureen E. Taylor, Tanja D. de Gruijl, Teunis B. H. Geijtenbeek

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Sexual transmission is the primary route of HIV-1 infection, and DC subsets are thought to be involved in viral dissemination to T cells. In the genital mucosa, two main subsets of DCs are present: epithelial LCs capture and degrade HIV-1 through C-type lectin Langerin, whereas subepithelial DCs express DC-SIGN, which facilitates HIV-1 transmission to T cells. As there is currently no HIV-1 vaccine available, microbicides provide an alternative strategy to limit HIV-1 spread. However, research into the function of LCs is hampered by the low availability and donor differences. Here, we set out to investigate whether LCs derived from the Mutz-3 cell line (Mu-LCs) provide a valuable tool to investigate the role of LCs in HIV-1 transmission and identify suitable potential microbicides. We demonstrate that Mu-LCs phenotypically resemble human primary LCs; Mu-LCs do not transmit HIV-1 efficiently, and inhibition of Langerin enhances HIV-1 transmission to T cells. We show that carbohydrate structures blocking DC-SIGN but not Langerin are potential microbicides, as they prevent HIV-1 transmission by DCs but do not affect the antiviral function of LCs. Therefore, Mu-LCs are a suitable model to investigate the role of LCs in HIV-1 transmission and to screen potential microbicides. J. Leukoc. Biol. 87: 637-643; 2010
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-643
JournalJournal of leukocyte biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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