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Cells infected by HIV defend themselves, research shows

Date:
October 4, 2016
Source:
Ghent University
Summary:
T cells, important in the immune system, defend themselves when infected by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Until now, it was considered that these cells were not aware of their infection by the virus.
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T cells, important in the immune system, defend themselves when infected by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Until now, it was considered that these cells were not aware of their infection by the virus.

The study identifies the mechanism on how the cell's innate immune system (known as the interferon response) responds to HIV infection and how the virus affects this interferon response. The viral protein Vpr triggers the interferon response in T cells (as also in dendritic cells, other cells of the immune system which are also infected by HIV). Vpu, another viral protein, suppresses the interferon response.

This discovery is the result of research by Dr. Jolien Vermeire and colleagues under supervision of Dr. Bruno Verhasselt at Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital

A better understanding of the innate defense against HIV could in the long term allow to complement the current treatment.

Because HIV infects and functionally impairs immune cells, untreated patients loose a functional immune system. As a consequence, germs and some cancers are given free rein (AIDS). Even if the virus is kept under control with medication, inflammation and degradation of established immunity is observed in some patients. This study provides a possible explanation why this happens and options to deal with this.

This research, published in the journal Cell Reports on October 4th 2016.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Ghent University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jolien Vermeire, Ferdinand Roesch, Daniel Sauter, Réjane Rua, Dominik Hotter, Anouk Van Nuffel, Hanne Vanderstraeten, Evelien Naessens, Veronica Iannucci, Alessia Landi, Wojciech Witkowski, Ann Baeyens, Frank Kirchhoff, Bruno Verhasselt. HIV Triggers a cGAS-Dependent, Vpu- and Vpr-Regulated Type I Interferon Response in CD4 T Cells. Cell Reports, 2016; 17 (2): 413 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.023

Cite This Page:

Ghent University. "Cells infected by HIV defend themselves, research shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161004125833.htm>.
Ghent University. (2016, October 4). Cells infected by HIV defend themselves, research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161004125833.htm
Ghent University. "Cells infected by HIV defend themselves, research shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161004125833.htm (accessed May 25, 2017).

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