Scientists tame HIV by stripping it of cholesterolSeptember 29th, 2011 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Sep 29 (IANS) Ridding HIV of its cholesterol content deactivates the deadly virus’ ability to trick the immune system and infect the body.
The finding could remove a major hurdle in developing anti-HIV shots, potentially opening the way to new treatments.
The altered HIV doesn’t overwhelm the immune system but triggers it to act in a normal way, says David Graham, assistant professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology at Johns Hopkins.
“Something about the HIV virus turns down the immune response… making it a tough target for vaccine development,” adds Graham, who led the study, the journal Blood reports.
Previous studies suggest that when immune cells (white blood cells) are stripped of their cholesterol content, HIV can no longer infect them, according to a Hopkins statement.
Significantly, Johns Hopkins researchers found the coat that surrounds and protects the HIV viral genome also is rich in cholesterol. They wondered whether HIV stripped of cholesterol could still infect cells.
They accordingly stripped the HIV viral coat of its cholesterol content, this variant or normal HIV to immune cells growing in culture dishes, and measured how the cells responded.
Immune cells exposed to cholesterol-poor HIV didn’t go into an overdrive, but cells exposed to normal HIV did.
Altering the HIV virus reawakened the immune system’s response against HIV and negated its immunosuppressive properties, said Graham.
-Indo-Asian News Service
- Vaccine-delivering nanoparticles may help fight HIV, malaria - Feb 23, 2011
- How 'silent HIV virus' attacks immune system - Sep 21, 2010
- How TB bacteria to survive in infected organs - Dec 07, 2010
- How HIV reactivates after entering a dormant state - Feb 27, 2011
- Protein knocks out HIV by starving it of raw materials - Feb 13, 2012
- Removing HIV's 'invisibility cloak' may help defeat the virus - May 22, 2010
- Unexpected find may lead to novel ways to stop HIV - Jan 24, 2011
- Virus infection can incite odd immune cells to attack nerves in multiple sclerosis - Jun 12, 2010
- New genetic strategy makes T-cells resistant to HIV infection - Jan 27, 2011
- Triple-punch gene therapy offers hope to AIDS patients - Jun 17, 2010
- Non-stick protein coating in semen cuts HIV infection - Sep 24, 2010
- Key gene helps virus sabotage immune system - Jan 06, 2011
- 'Pep talk' can revive exhausted immune cells: Study - Dec 14, 2011
- AIDS virus changes in semen make it different than what it is in blood - Aug 20, 2010
- AIDS immunity is all in the proteins! - Dec 27, 2010
Tags: asian news, assistant professor, cholesterol, cholesterol content, culture dishes, deadly virus, hiv, hiv virus, hopkins researchers, hurdle, immune cells, immune response, immune system, johns hopkins, journal blood, pathobiology, tough target, vaccine development, viral genome, white blood cells