Viruses. 2022 Sep 14;14(9):2037. doi: 10.3390/v14092037.
Dendritic cells (DCs) function as a link between innate and adaptive immune responses. Retroviruses HIV-1 and HTLV-1 modulate DCs to their advantage and utilize them to propagate infection. Coinfection of HTLV-1 and HIV-1 has implications for cancer malignancies. Both viruses initially infect DCs and propagate the infection to CD4+ T cells through cell-to-cell transmission using mechanisms including the formation of virologic synapses, viral biofilms, and conduits. These retroviruses are both neurotrophic with neurovirulence determinants. The neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 and HTLV-1 results in neurodegenerative diseases such as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Infected DCs are known to traffic to the brain (CNS) and periphery (PNS, lymphatics) to induce neurodegeneration in HAND and HAM/TSP patients. Elevated levels of neuroinflammation have been correlated with cognitive decline and impairment of motor control performance. Current vaccinations and therapeutics for HIV-1 and HTLV-1 are assessed and can be applied to patients with HIV-1-associated cancers and adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). These diseases caused by co-infections can result in both neurodegeneration and cancer. There are associations with cancer malignancies and HIV-1 and HTLV-1 as well as other human oncogenic viruses (EBV, HBV, HCV, HDV, and HPV). This review contains current knowledge on DC sensing of HIV-1 and HTLV-1 including DC-SIGN, Tat, Tax, and current viral therapies. An overview of DC interaction with oncogenic viruses including EBV, Hepatitis viruses, and HPV is also provided. Vaccines and therapeutics targeting host-pathogen interactions can provide a solution to co-infections, neurodegeneration, and cancer.