Infection biologists of the German Primate Center (DPZ) under the direction of Stefan Pöhlmann have found evidence that platelets (thrombocytes) might constitute an innate defense against infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HI-viruses are the cause of the immune deficiency disease AIDS.
In cooperation with colleagues from the Hannover Medical School and the Institute of Molecular Virology, Ulm University Medical Center, the scientists of the DPZ have shown in a recent study that platelet activation suppresses HIV type 1 (HIV-1) infection of cell cultures and might thus reduce viral spread in patients. The paper was published in the scientific journal Retrovirology.
Platelets, the smallest particles of the blood, are activated through contact with the vascular connective tissue, which leads to a change of their shape and the release of biological active substances from inside the platelets. One of these substances is the messenger protein CXCL4, which blocks the host cell entry of HIV-1. This finding was reported in 2012 by Auerbach and colleagues, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, USA, for purified CXCL4. The efficiency of HIV-1 inhibition by platelets in patients is currently unclear and might depend on platelet numbers and activation status.
There are two types of the HI-virus: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Additionally, there is a closely related virus, which occurs in monkeys and apes – the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). The current study has demonstrated that HIV-1 is inhibited upon platelet activation while HIV-2 and SIV are not. HIV-1 is the most frequent and also the most aggressive type of HI-virus.
“Our research indicates that platelets might constitute an innate barrier against HIV-1 infection, a function that was largely unknown“, says Stefan Pöhlmann, head of the Infection Biology Unit at the German Primate Center and senior author of the new study. “Further research needs to uncover how efficiently CXCL4 released by platelets inhibits HIV-1 spread in patients. Another goal should be to identify substances with a CXCL4-like antiviral activity and to develop them as novel therapies against HIV-1 infection.”Original publication:
Contact:Prof. Dr. Stefan Pöhlmann
Astrid Slizewski | idw
'Icebreaker' protein opens genome for t cell development, Penn researchers find
21.02.2018 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Similarities found in cancer initiation in kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas
21.02.2018 | Washington University School of Medicine
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences