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HIV - Distinct reservoir in the brain and spinal cord.


Jim Allen:
Interesting read, although, for some reason, I truly thought this was already known? in full:
February 8, 2023 • By Liz Highleyman


--- Quote ---HIV may lie dormant in a distinct viral reservoir in the central nervous system (CNS), or brain and spinal cord, which could present an additional barrier to a cure, according to a recent report in Nature Microbiology.

“Our analysis of rebound virus suggests latently infected T cells in the CNS are separate from the latent reservoir in the blood,” senior stud author Ron Swanstrom, PhD, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine said in a press release. “Our analysis allows us to infer the presence of a distinct pool of latently infected cells in the CNS waiting to reinitiate infection once antiretroviral therapy is interrupted.”

The researchers compared genetic sequences of rebounding virus soon after treatment interruption in the blood and CSF of people living with HIV to determine whether they were part of a common latent viral reservoir.

The analysis included eight men at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and two men and one woman at the University of Gotherburg in Sweden. Ages ranged from 39 to 56.

The researchers found that high rebound viral load in the CSF was associated with the transient entry of white blood cells into the CNS—known as pleocytosis—which occurred in about half of the participants after treatment interruption. In some people, viral sequences were not the same in the blood and CSF, suggesting they arose from different populations of latently infected cells.

The authors observed that clonally amplified viral lineages, or virus that originates from cells with a common ancestor, were disproportionately present in the CSF compared with the blood in these individuals (a phenomenon dubbed compartmentalization), suggesting a local source of virus within the central nervous system.

These findings suggest that strategies to cure HIV may need to reach a latent viral reservoir in the brain as well as dormant virus residing in T cells in the blood and lymph system.
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