Scientists Have Found Where In The Body HIV Is Hiding From Treatment

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Scientists Have Found Where In The Body HIV Is Hiding From Treatment
Scientists Have Found Where In The Body HIV Is Hiding From Treatment

Video: Scientists Have Found Where In The Body HIV Is Hiding From Treatment

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Video: In search of a cure, scientists look for where HIV hides 2023, January
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Scientists have found where in the body HIV is hiding from treatment

A new study in mouse models and human tissue has shown that the virus can hide in astrocytes - glial cells in the brain.

Scientists have found where in the body HIV is hiding from treatment
Scientists have found where in the body HIV is hiding from treatment

Human astrocyte. Photo: Bruno Pascal

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can take refuge from antiviral therapy in certain brain cells, and then become active again and infect other organs. This is evidenced by new scientific work carried out using mouse models and human tissues. It is published in PLoS Patogenes.

In humans, HIV attacks the immune system, which can lead to the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Modern combination antiretroviral therapy significantly reduces the concentration of the virus in the body. Such treatment can greatly prolong life, but currently antiviral drugs cannot completely control HIV in the body.

In the new study, the researchers aimed to find out where HIV is hiding from therapy in the body of the infected. Accurate data on the virus's defense mechanisms should help in the fight against HIV infection.

HIV may be hiding in astrocytes, the cells of the brain, according to new work by scientists at Rush University Medical Center. These are cells with a large number of processes, among whose functions are the maintenance of the structure and nutrition of the nervous tissue. Scientists indicate that HIV can infect up to 3% of these cells.

“Even 1% [astrocytes] can be a significant reservoir for virus recovery. If we want to find a cure for HIV, the role of the brain as such a reservoir cannot be ignored,”Professor Lena Al-Harthi, co-author of the study, told Live Science.

At the same time, mouse models provide us with insufficient information about how the virus is hidden from treatment. This was reported by Dr. Lishomwa Ndhlovu of Cornell University. He stressed that more research is needed to understand how to "destroy the virus in a niche."

It was previously known that HIV can enter the brain. In particular, scientists knew that the development of dementia could be associated with HIV infection.

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