Researchers support new strategies for HIV control

The quest for an AIDS cure has partly centered on techniques to eradicate infected cells. Now, new research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, as well as having the University of Pennsylvania among the U.S., indicates this process may not be crucial for an effective cure. Inside a study concentrating on a subset of HIV-positive folks who can accept the herpes virus without treatment, the researchers showed that these people’s lymphocytes suppress the virus but do not ruin infected cells.

AIDS is a persistent global health issue with no existing vaccine or cure. HIV infection typically results in a loss of CD4 T cells, a sort of white blood cell that, alongside the CD8 T cells, attacks and destroys viruses. The fewer CD4 T cells a person has, the more serious will be the symptoms. But fewer than 1 percent of HIV-positive individuals have stable CD4 T cell counts and undetectable HIV viremia, and therefore are thus in a position to live with herpes without therapy. This particular group, often known as elite controllers, has more beneficial CD8 T cells—the cells that ruin viruses—than most HIV-positive people.

Within this study, published in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers desired to find out nonetheless the CD8 T cells of elite controllers maintain HIV from replicating and getting ready for AIDS. They collected blood samples and lymph node tissue biopsies associated with a total of 51 HIV-positive individuals, including 12 elite controllers, from three sites inside the U.S. and Mexico.

Using single-cell RNA sequencing analyses, a way designed to study individual cells, the scientists revealed that elite controllers had more HIV-specific CD8 T cells in their lymphoid tissue when compared to the others, all that such technology was so-called non-cytolytic cells, meaning they didn’t kill off infected cells. Instead, these CD8 T cells of elite controllers managed to have a distinct transcriptional profile. They were able to suppress HIV replication through an enhanced ribosomal function, meaning they had been better at translating proteins from amino acids. This generated the production of more plus a more significant number of cytokines, small protein compounds that are important in cell communication, and boosted the cells’ polyfunctionality.

“The findings go against the paradigm of HIV control that focuses on destroying infected cells to identify a cure,” says Marcus Buggert, assistant professor along at the Department of drugs, Huddinge, at Karolinska Institutet. “While these strategies might still work, our research supports a model wherein viral suppression as an alternative to viral eradication can function as an effective cure.”

Author’s resource box:

Researchers support new strategies for HIV control, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-12-strategies-hiv.html

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