T-Cell Function in HIV-Infected Patients
By Eliza Bussey
BETHESDA, MD, Apr 27
Administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to replenish glutathione (GSA) deficiency,
improves T-cell function and blocks HIV expression in vitro. The finding was
reported by Dr. Leonard A. Herzenberg of Stanford University Medical School
in Stanford, California, at the Alcohol Use and HIV Pharmacotherapy conference
held at the NIH on Thursday.
Glutathione (GSH) deficiency
impairs key T-cell functions and promotes cytokine-stimulated HIV expression,
and is common among HIV-infected individuals with CD4 T-cell counts below 200
cells per microliter. Before highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), GSH
deficiency in HIV patients was associated with markedly lower probability of
surviving 2 to 3 years, Dr. Herzenberg explained.
During a placebo-controlled
trial, Dr. Herzenberg and his colleagues also found that plasma levels of thioredoxin
(Trx), a redox-active protein central to cell physiology, were elevated in HIV-infected
people and predicted a poor survival rate in a 15-month period for patients
with CD4 T-cell counts below 200 cells per microliter.
"Since oxidized stress
increases Trx, we can see why it would normally be considered a death warrant,"
Dr. Herzenberg explained. "NAC blocks Trx release in vitro, and it is important
because elevated Trx in immunodeficient individuals removes the last remaining
barrier to establishment of opportunistic and other lethal infections."
"We would like to see
these studies repeated with NAC as an adjuvant to HAART," Dr. Herzenberg. "It
is important because HAART therapy only goes after the virus, while NAC helps
restore the immune system.
cysteine is one of the dietary supplements that those HIV(+) people in the know
have been taking for a dozen or more years. If there is one survival tool every
HIV(+) person should consider it is taking dietary supplements that increase
glutathione production. Suggested dosing is 500 to 1,000 mg three times per
that increase glutathione include L-glutamine (12 to 36 grams per day), alpha
lipoic acid (100 to 1,000 mg per day), selenium (200 - 800 mcg per day), and
Immunocal whey protein (don't assume that other whey proteins have as much effect
can cause a decrease in glutathione production too, so be sure to get plenty
of protein three times per day.
We provide more discussion
of glutathione in our book Built To Survive, available by calling (800) 350-2392
or you can order it from www.Amazon.com by clicking