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A FIERY DEATH

Vicious cycle kills nondividing T cells in HIV infection

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, December 20, 2013
Researchers have identified how quiescent T cells die during HIV infection and how to prevent their death using drugs that have already undergone early stage clinical testing. The findings showed that immune system responses contribute to disease progression in HIV-infected individuals. The studies “address a key question in HIV biology: how T cells die, which is why people get AIDS,” said corresponding author Warner Greene, of the Gladstone Institutes. Some T cells die, of course, because they are infected with replicating HIV, which splits them open when it is ready to release a new round of viral particles into the bloodstream.

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