More light on how to fortify the immunity of HIV patients, may be shed by a new Canada-US research.
The study, by Universiti de Montrial and the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI) in collaboration with scientists from the NIH and the McGill University Health Center, has appeared in the journal Nature Medicine.
Senior author Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sikaly, a professor at the Universiti de Montrial and scientific director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, said: "Our findings show that the membrane protein PD-1 is up-regulated during HIV infection by the release of bacterial products from the gut and this subsequently increases the production of a cell derived factor, IL-10 that paralyses the immune system.
"We are the first to show that these two molecules work together to shut down the function of CD4 T-cells in HIV patients. This in turn, may lead to paralysis of the immune system and an accelerated disease progression."
Sikaly, also a researcher at the Centre de Recherche du CHUM, added: "Our results suggest that it is important to block both IL-10 and PD-1 interactions to restore the immune response during HIV infection.
"We believe that immunotherapies that target PD-1 and IL-10 should be part of the arsenal used to restore immune function in HIV-infected subjects."