Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New knowledge about the body's fight against HIV

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Aarhus University
Summary:
A study of the body's reactions to the HIV virus has led to new understanding of the immune system's fight against HIV. The discovery is an important step on the road towards the future development of new methods for treating HIV.

A cell with the defence protein (in red) captures HIV outside the cell’s core (in yellow). This leads to the cell’s defence system being activated and subsequently blocking the HIV infection.
Credit: Aarhus University Hospital

When a person is infected with HIV the virus infects the cells of the immune system. From here the virus spreads around the body, while at the same time breaking down important parts of the body's defence system. HIV's ability to avoid being eliminated by the body's immune system -- as opposed to many other types of virus -- is one of the main problems associated with this widespread virus. But Danish researchers have now found out how the body's own defence system is activated when the HIV virus infects a cell, and how this helps to protect against uncontrolled virus growth. The new knowledge can potentially be used to help the immune system defend itself more effectively against HIV.

Related Articles


The body defends itself against HIV

Studies of people infected by HIV have registered a degree of "excessive activation" of the immune system, which contributes to the development of AIDS. But until now what has been missing is knowledge about how the immune system is able to trace the HIV virus and, more precisely which positive and negative reactions this leads to in the immune system. It is here that the study contributes with fundamental new knowledge.

"We have succeeded in finding the protein in the cells that recognises the HIV infection, as well as the part of the virus that is discovered. At the same time, we can demonstrate how the recognition activates the first defensive responses in the body, thereby inhibiting the virus in developing the cell into an uncontrolled virus production machine. This knowledge extends our understanding of the mechanisms of HIV infection and paves the way for a number of new studies, which can bring us closer to improved treatment," says associate professor at Aarhus University, Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen.

Assisting the immune system

Researchers around the world have spent many years working to develop medicine that inhibits the body's production of viruses. The new study is crucial because it is one of the first in the area, which focuses on the so-called innate immune system. This part of the immune system is inborn and is the first, which is activated when we are attacked by an infection. The second part of the immune system -- the adaptive -- is first activated at a later stage. This is also the system which may be influenced by vaccines. HIV research has therefore been almost exclusively focused on the adaptive immune in the attempt to develop an HIV vaccine.

However, the new findings suggest that part of the solution to better treatment must be found in the innate immune system.

"If we can come to understand the immune system's protective as well as harmful activities during a HIV infection, we can potentially utilise this knowledge to curb the harmful functions and stimulate the protective activities. The more knowledge we have, the better we are equipped to be able to develop new anti-viral treatments. the results from this study are certainly a step in the right direction, says Martin Roelsgaard Jakobsen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aarhus University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. R. Jakobsen, R. O. Bak, A. Andersen, R. K. Berg, S. B. Jensen, J. Tengchuan, A. Laustsen, K. Hansen, L. Ostergaard, K. A. Fitzgerald, T. S. Xiao, J. G. Mikkelsen, T. H. Mogensen, S. R. Paludan. IFI16 senses DNA forms of the lentiviral replication cycle and controls HIV-1 replication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311669110

Cite This Page:

Aarhus University. "New knowledge about the body's fight against HIV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031110555.htm>.
Aarhus University. (2013, October 31). New knowledge about the body's fight against HIV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031110555.htm
Aarhus University. "New knowledge about the body's fight against HIV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031110555.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins