Natural killer cell function in HIV-1 infected patients

Claudio Fortis, S. Tasca, B. Capiluppi, G. Tambussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cross-talk between dendritic cells (DC) and resting natural killer (NK) cells leads to the activation of both cell populations, a process requiring cell-cell contact. When the number of activated NK cells overwhelms surrounding DC, they became able to kill specifically immature DC, a feedback mechanism to shut off DC-mediated immune responses. DC, at the mucosal site, can capture HIV and transfer it to CD4+ T lymphocytes present in the regional lymph node thus giving rise to a productive infection; on the other hand, NK cells represent the first line of defence against viral infection. Our preliminary results suggest that during the early phases of an HIV infection, NK cell activity is not functionally compromised, but that infected cells might escape natural immune surveillance through several mechanisms, including a reduced lysis of autologous DC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-32
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Dendritis cells
  • HIV
  • Natural immunity
  • NK cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)


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