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Chemical liberated by leaky gut may allow HIV to infect the brain, Einstein scientists find
Date:8/18/2008

says Dr. Goldstein. (See slides below). "So when HIV infection occurs, we seem to have a 1-2-3 combination of punches working in concert to facilitate entry of HIV-infected monocytes into the BBB-protected brain: HIV infection of monocytes increases their capacity to cross even an intact BBB; HIV infection in the gut releases LPS into the bloodstream allowing it to erode the BBB; and HIV infection of the cells of the BBB makes them more sensitive to the deleterious effects of LPS."

These findings could lead to preventive or therapeutic strategies. To help maintain the integrity of the BBB in HIV-infected people, says Dr. Goldstein, one approach might be to monitor the LPS level in their bloodstream and then reduce elevated levels. "We may be able to use antibiotics that kill intestinal bacteria that make LPS, and drugs are already available that can bind to LPS and clear it from the bloodstream," says Dr. Goldstein. "Ideally, we would promptly start newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients on a treatment to reinforce their BBB's so that HIV can't penetrate itand perhaps we could even strengthen the BBB's of people who've been infected for quite a while. But before we can prevent the tragedy of HIV-associated dementia, we need to better understand the mechanism by which these molecular and cellular 'punches' interact to undermine the BBB."


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Contact: Michael Heller
mheller@aecom.yu.edu
718-430-4186
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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Chemical liberated by leaky gut may allow HIV to infect the brain, Einstein scientists find
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