Extracellular ATP reduces HIV-1 transfer from immature dendritic cells to CD4+ T lymphocytes.
BACKGROUND: Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered as key mediators of the early events in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection at mucosal sites. Previous studies have shown that surface-bound virions and/or internalized viruses found in endocytic vacuoles of DCs are efficiently transferred to CD4+ T cells. Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) either secreted or released from necrotic cells induces a distorted maturation of DCs, transiently increases their endocytic capacity and affects their migratory capacity. Knowing that high extracellular ATP concentrations are present in situations of tissue injury and inflammation, we investigated the effect of ATP on HIV-1 transmission from DCs to CD4+ T lymphocytes. RESULTS: In this study, we show that extracellular ATP reduces HIV-1 transfer from immature monocyte-derived DCs (iDCs) to autologous CD4+ T cells. This observed decrease in viral replication was related to a lower proportion of infected CD4+ T cells following transfer, and was seen with both X4- and R5-tropic isolates of HIV-1. Extracellular ATP had no effect on direct CD4+ T cell infection as well as on productive HIV-1 infection of iDCs. These observations indicate that extracellular ATP affects HIV-1 infection of CD4+ T cells in trans with no effect on de novo virus production by iDCs. Additional experiments suggest that extracellular ATP might modulate the trafficking pathway of internalized virions within iDCs leading to an increased lysosomal degradation, which could be partly responsible for the decreased HIV-1 transmission. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that extracellular ATP can act as a factor controlling HIV-1 propagation.