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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
Can Marijuana Protect the Immune System Against HIV and Slow Disease Progression?

New Rochelle, NY, February 18, 2014—New evidence that chronic intake of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can protect critical immune tissue in the gut from the damaging effects of HIV infection is reported in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses website.

Patricia Molina and coauthors from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, report that chronic THC administration was associated with greater survival of T cell populations and reduced overall cell death in the gut in monkeys, which is known to be a key target for simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication and infection-related inflammation. The researchers present their findings in the article “Modulation of Gut-Specific Mechanisms by Chronic Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Administration in Male Rhesus Macaques Infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systems Biology Analysis.” This report provides mechanistic insights into their previous observation that THC administration attenuates disease progression in SIV infected macaques (AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 2011; 27: 585-592).

“To better treat HIV infection, we need a better understanding of how it causes the disease we call AIDS. We also need alternative approaches to treatment,” says Thomas Hope, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. “This study is important because it begins to explain how THC can influence disease progression in SIV-infected macaques. It also reveals a new way to slow disease progression.”


About the Journal
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, now celebrating its 30th year of publishing groundbreaking peer-reviewed research, is published monthly online with Open Access options and in print. The Journal presents papers, reviews, and case studies documenting the latest developments and research advances in the molecular biology of HIV and SIV and innovative approaches to HIV vaccine and therapeutic drug research, including the development of antiretroviral agents and immune-restorative therapies. The content also explores the molecular and cellular basis of HIV pathogenesis and HIV/HTLV epidemiology. The Journal features rapid publication of emerging sequence information and reports on clinical trials of emerging HIV therapies. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including AIDS Patient Care and STDs, Viral Immunology, and Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.