Researchers from Germany and Spain managed to figure out how immunodeficiency virus attacks the human body by solving one of the main mechanisms of its distribution, which in the future will develop new methods for the treatment of AIDS.
The group of experts led by Javier Martinez-Picado of the research center in Barcelona IrsiCaixa presented in an article published in the journal PLoS Biology, a detailed description of a previously unknown mechanism of penetration of science HIV-1 virus in one type of human immune cells - dendritic cells. These cells are of human mucous membranes, thus facing the first infection. They recognize pathogenic cells, and then transmit information to other types of immune cells - T-lymphocytes which are in turn run the full process of immune response.
The mechanism, which has long remained unknown, let the HIV virus introduced into dendritic cells, tricking them to later be distributed together with them through the lymphatic system. As a result, the virus begins to attack the T-lymphocytes, and this leads to a strong immune system damage and death in the case of human infection of non-hazardous infections.
The research team Martinez-Picado suspects that a key element, exciting dendritic cells, may be a particular type of lipid molecules or so-called gangliosides. These molecules are located in the cell membrane, and it is possible that the virus uses them to avoid detection by immune cells.
To confirm his suspicions, scientists have created artificial psevdovirusnye several types of particles, some of them had ganglioside molecules in the membrane, and the others were deprived of them. The experiment showed that the particles containing gangliosides, in its membrane possessed insights into dendritic cells.
The researchers note that, despite the fact that the mechanism of "prevarication" by dendritic cells requires a series of further studies, the molecule gangliosides may well serve as an impetus to the creation of treatments for HIV infection in the future.
Martinez-Picado said that while there is only so-called antiretroviral therapy, which helps to improve the quality of life of the patient, but does not cure it completely, because the body continues to develop the propagation of the virus.
"The mechanism of spread of HIV in the human body found by us will begin to develop drugs that in combination with antiretrovirals can finally beat the disease," - said in the conclusion of a scientist.
The researchers suggest that the development of a new drug will take about 10 to 15 years.