Studies examining the infectivity of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on human immune cells

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bryce Duncan (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Christopher Kepley

Abstract: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) establishes a latent infection in cells to ensure a persistent infection throughout an infected individual’s life. HIV can establish this latent infection in a variety of cells. Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment (HAART) is a selection of drugs used to inhibit the production of new HIV and new infections and can effectively diminish virus population in blood. However, due to the pathological mechanism of the virus, it is not possible yet to completely eradicate virus as it remains immunologically invisible in latent cellular reservoirs. The cellular reservoirs where HIV evades the immune system are not known completely. Current research efforts are focused on identifying the cellular populations where HIV remains latent and determine how those latent reservoirs are established. By identifying latent cellular reservoirs where HIV resides strategies can be developed to target and kill infected cells or prevent emergence of virus. We hypothesized that primary, skin, human mast cells may represent a previously unknown latent reservoir for HIV. Because mast cells can be activated through IgE-and non-IgE-dependent stimulation, we further hypothesized activated mast cells may be more vulnerable to infection. Our experimentations suggest that skin-derived mast cells are not susceptible to HIV infection and are not an inducible reservoir for HIV.One strategy for inhibiting viral replication has been with fullerenes. Fullerenes are carbon spheres that can be functionalized for use in various biological systems. Fullerenes functionalized with large dendrimeric moieties have been shown previously to inhibit viral replication in vitro, but the majority of investigations that have explored fullerenes as an inhibitor of HIV were assessed computationally. Based on these previous studies we hypothesized that certain functionalized fullerenes will suppress HIV infectivity and/or replication. We hypothesized that these fullerenes may interact with HIV protease and performed molecular modeled docking studies to investigate this idea. We also performed in vitro dose response assays on certain fullerene derivatives and our findings suggest they were effective at suppressing the virus.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Fullerene, Fullerene Derivative, HIV, Mast Cell
Fullerenes $x Therapeutic use
HIV (Viruses) $x Research
Mast cells $x Immunology

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