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Clin Dev Immunol. 2012;2012:534929. doi: 10.1155/2012/534929. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Blocking type I interferon production: a new therapeutic option to reduce the HIV-1-induced immune activation.

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Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, German National Reference Centre for Retroviruses, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


Highly active antiretroviral therapy has dramatically improved the morbidity and mortality of HIV-1-infected individuals. A total of 25 licensed drugs provide the basis for an optimized virus-suppressive treatment of nearly each subject. The promises of immune reconstitution and normal life expectancy, however, fall short for a number of patients, either through inadequate recovery of CD4+ T-cell counts or the occurrence of non-AIDS defining malignancies. In this respect, the prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus-associated Hodgkin lymphoma and human papillomavirus-related anal neoplasia is rising in aging HIV-1-infected individuals despite antiretroviral therapy. An important cause appears to be the HIV-1-induced chronic immune activation, propagated by inappropriate release of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferons. This immune dysregulation can be reduced in vitro by inhibitors blocking the endosomal acidification. Recent data suggest that this concept is also of relevance in vivo, which opens the door for adjuvant immunomodulatory therapies in HIV-1 infection.

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