• shareIcon

How HIV Kills Immune Cells?

Snr By ANI Editorial Team , ANI / Jun 07, 2013
How HIV Kills Immune Cells?

Untreated HIV infection attacks and kills crucial immune system cells. There are drugs that can prevent viral replication and may improve immune function.

Infected Immune CellsHIV infects immune cells and kills them, discovered by the scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  This research suggests that preserving the immune systems of HIV-infected individuals is very important. HIV causes harm to CD4+ cells (infection-fighting human immune cells) through complex processes, such as inserting its genes into cellular DNA. 

It has been found that in the integration step, a cellular enzyme called DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) becomes activated. Generally, this enzyme manages the repair of simultaneous breaks in both strands of molecules that comprise DNA.  When HIV integrates its genes into cellular DNA, single-stranded breaks occur, where viral and cellular DNA meets. 

Scientists discovered DNA activates DNA-PK when attacked by HIV. DNA-PK performs an unusually destructive role, eliciting a signal that causes the CD4+ T cell to die. The cells that die are the very ones mobilized to fight the infection.

Scientists believe that these new researches suggest that it is better to treat HIV-infected individuals with drugs. These drugs help in blocking the early steps of viral replication-up to and including activation of DNA-PK. The medications also can prevent viral replication and may improve CD4+ T cell survival and immune function.

Read more health news.


All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however Onlymyhealth.com does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK