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Viruses 2011, 3(8), 1374-1394;

HTLV-1 and Innate Immunity

1,2,3,* and 1,2,3,*
Retroviral Oncogenesis Laboratory, INSERM-U758 Human Virology, 69364 Lyon cedex 07, France
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 69364 Lyon cedex 07, France
IFR 128 Biosciences Lyon-Gerland, 69364 Lyon cedex 07, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 June 2011 / Revised: 20 July 2011 / Accepted: 1 August 2011 / Published: 8 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in HTLV Research)
PDF [749 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]


Innate immunity plays a critical role in the host response to a viral infection. The innate response has two main functions. First, it triggers effector mechanisms that restrict the infection. Second, it primes development of the adaptive response, which completes the elimination of the pathogen or of infected cells. In vivo, HTLV-1 infects T lymphocytes that participate in adaptive immunity but also monocytes and dendritic cells that are major players in innate immunity. Herein, we will review the interplay between HTLV-1 and innate immunity. Particular emphasis is put on HTLV-1-induced alteration of type-I interferon (IFN-I) function. In vitro, the viral Tax protein plays a significant role in the alteration of IFN synthesis and signaling. Despite this, IFN-I/AZT treatment of Adult T‑cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL) patients leads to complete remission. We will discuss a model in which exogenous IFN-I could act both on the microenvironment of the T-cells to protect them from infection, and also on infected cells when combined with other drugs that lead to Tax down-regulation/degradation.
Keywords: HTLV-1; innate immunity; interferon; monocytes; dendritic cells; natural killer cells HTLV-1; innate immunity; interferon; monocytes; dendritic cells; natural killer cells
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Journo, C.; Mahieux, R. HTLV-1 and Innate Immunity. Viruses 2011, 3, 1374-1394.

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