In an innovative study, a team of UC Davis researchers has discovered a special type of stem cell that can reduce the amount of virus that causes AIDS, increase the body’s antiviral immunity and repair and restore lymphoid follicles. of the gut damaged by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the equivalent of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in nonhuman primates.
The study, published on June 22 a JCI Insight, showed the mechanism by which the mesenchymal stem /stromal cells (MSC) improve the body immune response to the virus. It also provides a roadmap for the development of HIV eradication strategies in several directions.
“Deficiencies in immune functions in HIV infection and incomplete immune recovery are obstacles to eradicating HIV,” said Satya Dandekar, lead author of this article. “Our goal was to develop strategies to increase immunity to the virus and boost the host’s immune system to eradicate the virus. We tried to repair, regenerate and restore the virus. lymphoid follicles which are damaged by viral infection. “
Lymphoid tissue in the intestine is an early site for viral replication and the establishment of viral reservoirs. Dandekar’s group has previously shown that HIV infection causes severe loss of T from the intestinal mucosa immune cells and alters the lining of the epithelial barrier of the intestine, leading to a leaky gut.
“Lymphoid follicles are organized structures where the long-term immune attack against pathogens is initiated by generating an antibody response directed at the virus. These important regions are deteriorating functionally very soon after HIV infection,” he said. dir Dandekar.
While antiretroviral drugs delete effectively viral replication, do not repair the damage caused by the virus to the immune system. On their own, these drugs cannot restore the functionality of lymphoid follicles damaged by HIV infection.
Can stem cells counteract the intestinal damage caused by HIV?
The researchers administered MSC derived from bone marrow in a model of maca rhesus AIDS that had altered immunity and altered intestinal functions due to viral infection.
“We are beginning to recognize the great potential of these stems cells in the context of infectious diseases. We have yet to discover how these stem cells can affect us chronically viral infections like AIDS, “Dandekar said. She is a professor and president of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at UC Davis and an affiliate of the California National Primate Research Center.
The study found that MSCs can modulate, alter, and reshape the site of damaged mucosa. There were immediate benefits, with a rapid increase in antibodies and virus-targeted T cells. Stem cells were instrumental in the recovery and restoration of these lymphoid follicles.
MSCs also offer an opportunity for an innovative multi-axis HIV healing strategy, complementing current HIV treatments.
“Stem cells are good synergistic components of the couple with drugs. Antiretroviral drugs can stop the fire of viral infection, but they cannot restore the lymphoid tissue compartment forest. MSCs would rejuvenate the field and restore vitality. immune, ”Dandekar said.
Even without the use of antiviral drugs, MSCs were able to increase the host’s antiviral response by repairing lymphoid follicles, restoring mucosal immunity, and reactivating what the virus has been targeting very soon. .
MSC treatments require well-defined cell quality controls and specific distribution mechanisms. The UC Davis Stem Cell Program, a center of excellence for stem cell research, leads multiple clinical trials on the use of MSCs in the treatment of diseases such as spina bifida and the disease of Huntington. The results of this study provide a scientific basis for investigating MSC in the treatment of HIV and other infectious diseases in the clinical setting.
Mariana G. Weber et al, Intestinal germ center regeneration and enhanced antiviral immunity by mesenchymal stem / stromal cells in SIV infection, JCI Insight (2021). DOI: 10.1172 / jci.insight.149033
Citation: Research provides a roadmap for HIV eradication through stem cell therapy (2021, June 23) retrieved June 24, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021- 06-roadmap-hiv-eradication-stem-cell.html
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