PLoS pathogens 2017 04 2013(4) e1006353 doi 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006353
Human T lymphotropic Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of Adult T cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL) and HTLV-1-Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Both CD4+ T-cells and dendritic cells (DCs) infected with HTLV-1 are found in peripheral blood from HTLV-1 carriers. We previously demonstrated that monocyte-derived IL-4 DCs are more susceptible to HTLV-1 infection than autologous primary T-cells, suggesting that DC infection precedes T-cell infection. However, during blood transmission, breast-feeding or sexual transmission, HTLV-1 may encounter different DC subsets present in the blood, the intestinal or genital mucosa respectively. These different contacts may impact HTLV-1 ability to infect DCs and its subsequent transfer to T-cells. Using in vitro monocyte-derived IL-4 DCs, TGF-β DCs and IFN-α DCs that mimic DCs contacting HTLV-1 in vivo, we show here that despite their increased ability to capture HTLV-1 virions, IFN-α DCs restrict HTLV-1 productive infection. Surprisingly, we then demonstrate that it is not due to the antiviral activity of type-I interferon produced by IFN-α DCs, but that it is likely to be linked to a distinct trafficking route of HTLV-1 in IL-4 DCs vs. IFN-α DCs. Finally, we demonstrate that, in contrast to IL-4 DCs, IFN-α DCs are impaired in their capacity to transfer HTLV-1 to CD4 T-cells, both after viral capture and trans-infection and after their productive infection. In conclusion, the nature of the DCs encountered by HTLV-1 upon primo-infection and the viral trafficking route through the vesicular pathway of these cells determine the efficiency of viral transmission to T-cells, which may condition the fate of infection.