A group of researchers of French Institut Pasteur took a new step in the fight against the AIDS virus (HIV) to discover a way of being able eliminate infected cells, according to a study published today (December 20, 2018) by Cellular Metabolism.
This one find, also announced by the Pasteur Institute, could to revolutionize HIV treatmentSo far, patients should take antiretroviral drugs who can not do away with the reservoirs (latent virus) of HIV that lodges in cells of the immune system.
"Our job It consists of identifying the infected cells to concentrate better on them, with the aim of eliminating them from the body"said study coordinator Asier Sáez-Cirión of the Pasteur Institute in a statement on RTL radio.
The team of researchers He was able to identify the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes, the immune cells that HIV activates and uses to produce copies of itself.
Anti-retroviral treatments – prevent HIV from doing so and multiply, but they do not cure, that is, they do not end with virus, but leave in a dormant state.
Now researchers have discovered that the virus infects as a priority cells with a strong metabolic activity such as CD4-, where the consumption of glucose plays a preponderant role. Understanding this mechanism will open a door to eliminate infected cells, experts say.
What the researchers have done is to block infection thanks to inhibitors of metabolic activity already exploited against cancer in experiments carried out ex vivo, that is, performed in or on biological tissues of an organism in an artificial environment.
The researchers said that the find It is a promising first step, although they have clarified that it is still necessary that this technique be applied in patients.