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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 592187, 10 pages
Review Article

Influence of Dendritic Cells on B-Cell Responses during HIV Infection

1Laboratoire d’immunogénétique, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Hôpital Notre-Dame, 2099 Alexandre De Sève, Montréal, QC, Canada H2L 2W5
2Département de Microbiologie et Immunologie de l’Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 Succ Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7

Received 3 October 2011; Revised 11 December 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editor: Carlo Torti

Copyright © 2012 Johanne Poudrier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dendritic cells (DCs) modulate B-cell differentiation, activation, and survival mainly through production of growth factors such as B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS/BAFF). DC populations have been reported to be affected in number, phenotype and function during HIV infection and such alterations may contribute to the dysregulation of the B-cell compartment. Herein, we reflect on the potential impact of DC on the pathogenesis of HIV-related B cell disorders, and how DC status may modulate the outcome of mucosal B cell responses against HIV, which are pivotal to the control of disease. A concept that could be extrapolated to the overall outcome of HIV disease, whereby control versus progression may reside in the host’s capacity to maintain DC homeostasis at mucosal sites, where DC populations present an inherent capacity of modulating the balance between tolerance and protection, and are amongst the earliest cell types to be exposed to the virus.