Interactions between HIV-1 and dendritic cells (DCs) play an important role in the initial establishment and spread of infection and development of antiviral immunity. We used chemically inactivated aldrithiol-2 (AT-2) simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) with functional envelope glycoproteins to study virus interactions with DCs and developed an in vitro system to evaluate the quality of SIV antigen (Ag) presentation by DCs to T cells. AT-2 SIV interacts authentically with T cells and DCs and thus allows assessment of natural SIV-specific responses. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from blood or lymph nodes of SIV-infected macaques released interferon-γ (IFNγ) and proliferated in response to a variety of AT-2 SIV isolates. Responses did not vary significantly as a function of the quantitative envelope glycoprotein content of the virions. Presentation of Ags derived from AT-2 SIV by DCs was more potent than presentation by comparably Ag-loaded monocytes. Interestingly, SIV-pulsed mature DCs stimulated both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses, whereas immature DCs primarily stimulated CD4+ T cells. Further studies using AT-2 inactivated virus may help to define better the details of the virus-DC interactions critical for infection versus induction of antiviral immune responses.