HIV stem cell therapy on the horizon by regenerating damaged cells in the gut

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Researchers discover the role of stem cells in gut lymphoid tissue regeneration and enhanced immunity against SIV in non-human primate studies, generating new avenues in HIV eradication strategies using stem cell therapy.

Researchers from the University of California Davis (CA, USA) have identified new mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) functions in the restoration of gut lymphoid follicles in animals infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). SIV is equivalent to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in non-human primates and provides an AIDS model to study this new anti-HIV stem cell therapy in the laboratory.

Uncovering the role of stem cells’ ability to suppress HIV infection and provide immune protection against the virus could be a milestone in developing a cure for AIDS, a disease that continues to burden the lives of many individuals across the world. Current antiretroviral therapy (ART) fails to eliminate hidden HIV pockets called ‘reservoirs’ in lymphoid tissues and this new research may be the key to targeted HIV eradication in these reservoirs.

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