BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A revolutionary discovery struck the medical world. Scientists from University College in London found a way to prevent the HIV virus to spread among human cells. Combined with other findings in the field, this might contribute to the eradication of the deadly virus.
The team of scientists announced they have found how to prevent the HIV virus from affecting macrophages. These macrophages are immune cells whose role is to find, catch, and digest the “intruders”, the toxic or foreign particles.
Macrophages are the cleaners of our organism and they rid our bodies of bacteria, dead cells, and toxic substances. So far, the HIV virus has been able to escape. These macrophages contain a protein (SAMHD1) and this protein is able to block the spreading of the HIV virus.
However, the scientists found that, from time to time, this protein is shut down inside the immune cells for a short period of time. Still, this period of time is enough for the virus to enter and spread inside the cells. After it gets inside, the virus is able to avoid treatment.
The scientists reported in the Medical Daily journal that they have found a solution to this. They found how to add a substance called HDAC inhibitor that they previously discovered to be able to prevent macrophages from shutting down the SAMHD1 protein.
What are these special substances? These HDAC inhibitors are compounds that are generally used in the fields of psychiatry and neurology as anti-epileptics and mood stabilizers. These substances may be applied in more treatments. Currently, the scientists are analyzing the possibility of their use in the treatment of cancer, and inflammatory diseases.
Dr. Ravindra Gupta, one of the researchers, explained that their discovery might help explain how some people that were treated for HIV continued to have the HIV spreading inside their cells. These infected cells were most probably macrophages.
There are still many tests that need to be performed before the treatment should be possible to apply to humans. However, the researchers reported that both mice macrophages and human macrophages from laboratory cultures showed great results after the treatment with HDAC inhibitors.
This is big news and the researchers hope that they are one step closer to the permanent extermination of the deadly HIV virus.