Attachment and fusion inhibitors potently prevent dendritic cell-driven HIV infection

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Dendritic cells (DCs) efficiently transfer captured (trans) or de novo-produced (cis) virus to CD4 T cells. Using monocyte-derived DCs, we evaluated entry inhibitors targeting HIV envelope (BMS-C, T-1249) or CCR5 (CMPD167) for their potency to prevent DC infection, DC-driven infection in T cells in trans and cis, and direct infection of DC-T-cell mixtures. Immature DC-T-cell cultures with distinct mechanisms of viral transfer yielded similar levels of infection and produced more proviral DNA compared with matched mature DC-T-cell cultures or infected immature DCs. Although all compounds completely blocked HIV replication, 16 times more of each inhibitor (250 vs 15.6 nM) was required to prevent low-level infection of DCs compared with the productive DC-T-cell cocultures. Across all cell systems tested, BMS-C blocked infection most potently. BMS-C was significantly more effective than CMPD167 at preventing DC infection. In fact, low doses of CMPD167 significantly enhanced DC infection. Elevated levels of CCL4 were observed when immature DCs were cultured with CMPD167. Viral entry inhibitors did not interfere with Candida albicans-specific DC cytokine/chemokine responses. These findings indicate that an envelope-binding small molecule is a promising tool for topical microbicide design to prevent the infection of early targets needed to establish and disseminate HIV infection.