Research Topic

Direct and Indirect Interactions of HIV with Host Cells

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About this Research Topic

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) by infection and depletion of CD4+ T cells. HIV can also infect other CD4+ cells such as macrophages, possibly leading to their functional alterations and contribution to viral reservoirs. However, changes might also be found ...

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) by infection and depletion of CD4+ T cells. HIV can also infect other CD4+ cells such as macrophages, possibly leading to their functional alterations and contribution to viral reservoirs. However, changes might also be found in the dynamics or functions of other hematopoietic cells such as hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), CD8+ T cells, B cells, NK cells, dendritic cells (DCs), and granulocytes. Furthermore, even non-hematopoietic cells can be altered in HIV-infected patients. Cells in various tissues and organs including bone marrow, thymus, gut, genital tract, lung, and central nervous system, have been investigated in depths in HIV-infected hosts. However, the outstanding breadth of the direct/indirect influence of HIV on host cells in different tissues and organs could make it challenging to grasp the whole picture of the HIV disease.

In this Research Topic, we welcome Original Research Articles, Brief Research Reports, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Perspectives, and Hypotheses/Theories that describe novel findings, up-to-date information, or future directions to advance our understanding and thinking of host cells in association with HIV infection.

Publications in this Research Topic will facilitate a collective and broad knowledge of direct and indirect interactions of HIV with host cells, which may lead to a better understanding and definition of the HIV disease. For example, we strongly recommend submission of: (1) studies describing changes in cellular functions or dynamics following HIV infection, (2) works to better clarify the extents to which host cells interact directly or indirectly with HIV (indirect interactions may include mechanisms such as chronic immune activation and inflammation possibly leading to accelerated immunosenescence), and (3) papers that describe cellular observations in humans and animal models as well as in ex-vivo experiments. The model animals of interest include humanized mice infected with HIV, and monkeys infected with HIV, simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) provided that the results give insight on the human HIV disease. The host cell types, tissues, and organs of interest in association with the scope of the Research Topic include, but not limited to, those listed below:

1. Hematopoietic (immune) cells including both systemic and local, as well as both HIV-susceptible and non-HIV-susceptible, e.g. HSPCs (multipotent/committed progenitors), thymocytes, T cells (CD4+/CD8+, antigen-specific, mucosal, follicular, and regulatory T cells), B cells, NK/innate lymphoid cells, monocytes, macrophages (microglia), DCs (monocytoid/plasmacytoid DCs, and Langerhans cells), granulocytes, platelets, and erythrocytes.

2. Cells of tissues/organs, e.g. bone marrow/thymus (mesenchymal stem cells, stromal cells, and thymic epithelial cells), lung/gut/genital tract (mucosal epithelial cells), central nervous system (neurons, astrocytes, blood-brain-barrier endothelial cells, and pericytes), cardiovascular system (endothelial cells, and cardiac muscle cells), kidney (podocytes), and skin (keratinocytes).


Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Virus-host Interaction, Hematopoietic Cells, Non-hematopoietic Cells


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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