Co- But not sequential infection of DCS boosts their HIV-specific CTL-stimulatory capacity

Manuela Schönfeld, Ulla Knackmuss, Parul Chandorkar, Paul Hörtnagl, Thomas John Hope, Arnaud Moris, Rosa Bellmann-Weiler, Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Wilfried Posch*, Doris Wilflingseder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pathogenic bacteria and their microbial products activate dendritic cells (DCs) at mucosal surfaces during sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and therefore might also differently shape DC functions during coinfection with HIV-1. We recently illustrated that complement (C) coating of HIV-1 (HIV-C), as primarily found during the acute phase of infection before appearance of HIV-specific antibodies, by-passed SAMHD1-mediated restriction in DCs and therefore mediated an increased DC activation and antiviral capacity. To determine whether the superior antiviral effects of HIV-C-exposed DCs also apply during STIs, we developed a co-infection model in which DCs were infected with Chlamydia spp. simultaneously (HIV-C/Chlam-DCs or HIV/Chlam-DCs) or a sequential infection model, where DCs were exposed to Chlamydia for 3 or 24 h (Chlam-DCs) followed by HIV-1 infection. Co-infection of DCs with HIV-1 and Chlamydia significantly boosted the CTL-stimulatory capacity compared to HIV-1-loaded iDCs and this boost was independent on the opsonization pattern. This effect was lost in the sequential infection model, when opsonized HIV-1 was added delayed to Chlamydia-loaded DCs. The reduction in the CTL-stimulatory capacity of Chlam-DCs was not due to lower HIV-1 binding or infection compared to iDCs or HIV-C/Chlam-DCs, but due to altered fusion and internalization mechanisms within DCs. The CTL-stimulatory capacity of HIV-C in Chlam-DCs correlated with significantly reduced viral fusion compared to iDCs and HIV-C/Chlam-DCs and illustrated considerably increased numbers of HIV-C-containing vacuoles than iDCs. The data indicate that Chlamydia coinfection of DCs mediates a transient boost of their HIV-specific CTL-stimulatory and antiviral capacity, while in the sequential infection model this is reversed and associated with hazard to the host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1123
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 2019


  • CTL
  • Complement
  • Dendritic cell
  • HIV-1
  • STIs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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