Loré K, Larsson M. The role of dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. APMIS 2003;111:776–88. Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells required for generation of adaptive immunity. These cells are one of the initial target cells for HIV-1 infection or capture of virions at site of transmission in the mucosa. DCs carrying HIV-1 will migrate to the lymphoid tissue where they can contribute to the dissemination of the virus to adjacent CD4+ T cells. In addition, HIV-1–exposed DCs may have impaired antigen-presenting capacity resulting in inadequate expansion of HIV-1–specific T cell responses. Here, we review the infection of different subtypes of DCs by HIV-1 and the relevance of these cells in the transmission and establishment of HIV-1 disease. In addition, we discuss the mechanisms through which HIV-1–DC interactions could be exploited to optimise the generation and maintenance of HIV-1–specific T cell immunity.