About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Aussie Scientists Find HIV Reservoir in the Brain

by Rajashri on September 25, 2009 at 8:14 PM
Font : A-A+

 Aussie Scientists Find HIV Reservoir in the Brain

The brain also acts as a key "reservoir" for HIV, scientists from Australia have found. This finding may be a serious threat to the search for a way to eradicate the virus from the body.

While scientists are using antiretroviral drugs to get rid of HIV altogether, they are finding it difficult to perfect techniques to kill off infected cells in the known reservoirs for HIV in the body.

Advertisement

Melbourne-based Dr. Melissa Churchill said that HIV was known to hide out in the thymus and lymph tissues, the gut, spleen, testes, bone marrow, they have recently found that it also resides in astrocyte cells in the brain.

"The astrocytes are basically the support cells - they mop up toxins released from other cells and maintain a really nice environment for the neurons to function," News.com.au quoted Churchill as saying of the vital role played by these cells for cognition.
Advertisement

"Previously, people weren't sure if we have to actually consider it as a genuine viral reservoir, but it is," she added.

Churchill and an international team of researchers used latest in high-powered microscopes to examine brain tissue from HIV-positive people to gauge the presence of the virus in these astrocyte cells.

She said that it was believed that the virus had about a "one per cent" presence, but the research showed it was up to 19 per cent and "very significant".

In her opinion, the discovery poses several new challenges for scientists now progressing the work of finding ways to eradicate HIV from the body.

"One of the issues of the brain as a reservoir is that it's quite inaccessible to the immune system and to anti-retrovirals," said Churchill.

It could also lead to brain damage.

"The cells that make up the other reservoirs, they can be regenerated - they are blood cells, things like that - but if you kill astrocytes, especially at this level, they don't regenerate. You lose the function that they normally carry out ... so you end up with a poorer (brain functioning) environment," she said.

In addition, it was believed that these infected and underperforming cells are also the cause of HIV-associated dementia, which commonly occurs in the later phases of HIV infection.

Source: ANI
RAS
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
Spirituality and Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Oral Health And AIDS Parkinsons Disease AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV - Health Education AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission AIDS / HIV - Treatment AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment 

Recommended Reading
AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the prevention for AIDS/HIV...
AIDS / HIV - Treatment
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the treatment for AIDS/HIV...
AIDS and Pregnancy
The Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is brought about by the deadly human immunodeficiency ......
AIDS - Initial Theories and Disease Progression
AIDS was first detected in early 1980s, among gays, Haitians and black Africans. HIV is a ......
AIDS/HIV
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure...
AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about HIV Clinical Features...
AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology
AIDS or HIV is an epidemic disease, a potentially deadly infection that can be prevented with preca...
AIDS/HIV - Health Education
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about AIDS information and health education....
Oral Health And AIDS
AIDS has taken on massive proportions in modern times. It is estimated that over 15 million people a...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use