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Source: HIV Research  May 09, 2020  3 years, 11 months, 1 week, 1 day, 22 hours, 57 minutes ago

HIV Research: CD127 Proteins Identified As Sites Of Latent Reservoirs Of HIV

HIV Research: CD127 Proteins Identified As Sites Of Latent Reservoirs Of HIV
Source: HIV Research  May 09, 2020  3 years, 11 months, 1 week, 1 day, 22 hours, 57 minutes ago
HIV Research: Medical researchers have known for a long time that despite the advancements in antiretroviral therapy, varying amounts HIV virus remains in infected individuals forever, hiding in small reservoirs of cells of the immune system. Should ever these individuals discontinue the antiretroviral therapy, the HIV virus almost always rebounds rapidly from the reservoirs, causing deadly symptoms to re-emerge fast.
 
Unfortunately it is these virus reservoirs that remain the main obstacle to curing HIV/AIDS. There is at present no easy way of targeting reservoir cells for elimination nor can medical researchers efficiently extract reservoir cells from patients to study them so as to eventually find ways to control them.


In a recent paper in PLOS Pathogens, Gladstone Visiting Scientist Nadia Roan,
PhD, and her team describe a class of cells that preferentially support latent
infection by HIV. Credit: Gladstone Institutes


 One of the main issues is the HIV virus in these cells is ‘silent’ in that the cells do not carry on their surfaces the viral proteins that would make them easy to find and identify. Hence researchers have therefore been looking for other means to pinpoint reservoir cells.
 
In a new research, Gladstone Visiting medical researcher Dr Nadia Roan and her team describe a class of cells that preferentially support latent infection by HIV. These cells are characterized by a surface protein called CD127 and are found in tissues such as lymph nodes, which are thought to harbor a larger share of the HIV reservoir than blood does. The research finds are published in the journal PLOS Pathogens. https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1008450
 
Dr Roan, who is also an associate professor of urology at UC San Francisco told Thailand Medical news, "Our research findings suggest that CD127 cells from tissues may be an important population to target for an HIV cure."
 
Significantly, researchers can potentially use the CD127 protein as a handle to isolate reservoir cells from patients, and study what makes them able to silence the virus, and occasionally reactivate it.
 
Typically, HIV targets immune cells, known as T cells, that reside primarily in lymphoid tissues, such as lymph nodes and tonsils. Yet HIV infection studies have largely focused on T cells circulating in the blood, which are relatively easy to gain access to as volunteers are more likely to submit to a blood draw than a tissue biopsy.
 
However focusing on T cells present in the blood is probably giving scientists a skewed view of the reservoir composition.
 
Dr Roan added, “Researchers have long suspected that reservoir cells come in different types, and that different tissues harbor different types of reservoir cells. But that has been difficult to show because reservoir cells in infected individuals are rare. The vast majority of in vitro models of latency use cell lines or cells circulating in the blood."
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