Towards a Cure for HIV PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alain Lafeuillade   
Friday, 29 October 2010 15:13

Towards a Cure for HIV: the identification and characterization of HIV reservoirs in optimally treated people.

Onafuwa-Nuga A, McNamara LA, Collins KL. Cell Research 2010; Sept. 28, Pub ahead of print.

tudies of viral load decay during HAART have suggested the existence of other reservoirs than latently infected CD4+ T cells. Several experiments have demonstrated that multipotent hematopoietic stem/precursor cells (HSPCs) can become infected with HIV-1. Most multipotent hematopoietic precursor cells express CD34, a cell surface marker found on HSPCs ranging from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to progenitor cells committed to differentiation. CD34+ populations that lack CD38 and express CD133 are enriched for multipotent progenitor cells. A proportion of CD34+ cells express the HIV receptors CD4, CXCR4 and CCR5.

n this paper, the authors show evidence that CD34+ HSPCs  can be infected in vitro by HIV. Importantly, they also demonstrate that HIV can establish latency in HSPCs infected in vitro.

To determine whether HIV infects CD34+ bone marrow HSPCs in vivo, they obtained bone marrow from different HIV-infected patients. CD34+ cells from donors with undetectable plasma viremia for more than 6 months did not express detectable amounts of HIV Gag by flow cytometry. In one donor, HIV Gag expression was induced upon myeloid differenciation of CD34+. These findings provide evidence that CD34+ cells could harbor latent HIV in some patients.

HIV DNA could also be amplified from CD34+ bone marrow cells from more than 40% of patients with plasma viremia <48 copies/ml after more than 6 months of effective HAART.

On the contrary, HIV DNA could not be detected from bone marrow depleted for CD34+ cells.

hese results show that CD34+ cells might act as a long-lived reservoir for HIV. Additional studies are needed to clarify which subset of CD34+ cells harbor HIV genomes in vivo and whether latently infected CD34+ cells contribute to residual viremia in patients on HAART.

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Key words: CD34, cure, eradication stem cells, hiv, persistence, reservoirs
Last Updated on Friday, 19 November 2010 17:19


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