Adding new dimensions: towards an integrative understanding of HIV-1 spread
Authors: Fackler OT, Murooka TT, Imle A, Mempel TR
CellNetworks People: Fackler Oliver
Journal: Nat Rev Microbiol. 2014 Aug;12(8):563-74. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3309

In vitro studies in primary or immortalized cells continue to be used to elucidate the essential principles that govern the interactions between HIV-1 and isolated target cells. However, until recently, substantial technical barriers prevented this information from being efficiently translated to the more complex scenario of HIV-1 spread in the host in vivo, which has limited our understanding of the impact of host physiological parameters on the spread of HIV-1. In this Review, we discuss the recent development of imaging approaches to visualize HIV-1 spread and the adaptation of these approaches to organotypic ex vivo models and animal models. We focus on new concepts, including the mechanisms and in vivo relevance of cell-cell transmission for HIV-1 spread and the function of the HIV-1 pathogenesis factor Nef, which have emerged from the application of these integrative approaches in complex cell systems.