A team led by researchers at University College London identified as HIV is able to infect macrophages, a type of white blood cells, which are an integral part of the immune system, despite the presence of a protective protein. They found a method of treatment, which will support the protective macrophages, which can be a major part of the task of achieving a complete cure for HIV / AIDS.
Macrophages produce antiviral protein called SAMHD1, which prevents the replication of HIV in these cells (except in cases when the protein is turned off as part of the natural process, researchers open).
"We knew that SAMHD1 turned off when cells multiply. But the macrophages do not multiply, so it seemed unlikely that SAMHD1 will be turned off in these cells, - says Professor Ravindra Gupta, senior author of the paper. - And yet we found that there is a possibility that SAMHD1 disabled as part of the regularly occurring processes in macrophages. "
Peter Mlkochova researcher says: "Other viruses can disable SAMHD1, but do not have HIV. The work explains how HIV infects macrophages. "
The reason why off SAMHD1, yet to be determined, but the authors suggest that this may be done to repair damaged DNA.
In a further part of the study, experts have discovered how to process the cell inhibitors HDAC, which are sometimes used in the treatment of cancer.
"Our findings help explain why some people exposed to antiretroviral therapy for HIV have HIV replication in the brain, because the infected cells in it - macrophages. While this is an obstacle to the control of HIV infection only a minority of patients, it can also be a barrier on the road to recovery ", - adds Gupta.
The researchers say that the white blood cells may be an important reservoir of HIV infection. Once infected macrophage, it will consistently produce the HIV virus, thus "cutting off" the point of infection in the body, the immune system is maintained. HDAC inhibitors are especially useful, as they re-activate latent HIV cells, thus making the virus susceptible to protect the body, especially when antiretroviral therapy.
A series of samples of cultures of macrophages derived from human cells in vitro are well respond to treatment HDAC inhibitor and macrophages located in the tissues of the mouse brain.