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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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