In conclusion, protease inhibitors appear to decrease CD4+ T-cell ICE expression and apoptosis before they affect Fas-R expression in HIV-infected patients. This action was independent of HIV infection, as similar effects were seen in CD4+ T cells from normal controls. Some of the benefit of protease inhibitors may be related to modification of programmed cell death, which increases CD4+ T-cell number.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Beyond Inhibiting Protease
Physicians will often tell their patients that CD4 count increases are a beneficial consequence of successful HIV viremia suppression. There is considerable evidence, however, that CD4 count improvements are due to an HIV-unrelated effect, the suppression of programmed cell death. The cited study even notes the same effect of protease inhibitors on both the lymphocytes of HIV-positive and of HIV-negative patients.