Langerhans cell antiviral mechanisms control HIV

Langerhans cell antiviral mechanisms control HIV


AMC researcher, Theo Geijtenbeek, previously discovered that certain immune cells, so-called Langerhans cells, can destroy the HIV virus. The effectiveness of these cells, however, differs from person to person. Some women, for example, appear more susceptible to HIV than others. This research project aims to determine which factors play a role in destroying HIV.

Project details

Time frame
30 November 2014 - 30 November 2018
€ 250,000
Active in


The aim of this proposal is to investigate the regulation of these HIV-1 restriction mechanisms in human primary LCs, their in vivo relevance and how immune activation by vaginal microbiota might enhance HIV-1 infection.
This proposal will not only provide novel insights into the mechanism of sexual transmission but will also address the in vivo relevance of the innovative HIV-1 restriction mechanisms as well as LCs in HIV-1
The expected results will identify molecular targets for intervention, allow identification of more susceptible patient groups and provide novel preventive strategies to combat HIV-1 susceptibility. Thereby limiting HIV infection and transmission.

Community groups

Scientific community


The main route of HIV-1 infection is sexual transmission across mucosal genital tissues. Langerhans cells (LCs) reside in mucosal vagina and foreskin epithelium, and are therefore the first immune cells to encounter HIV-1 upon sexual transmission.

It seems that immature LCs prevent HIV-1 transmission but immune activation changes their function, thereby allowing efficient infection by HIV-1 and subsequent transmission to T cells. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that allow HIV-1 transmission by activated LCs. uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.