Effects of HIV-1 Infection on Bone Growth in HIV-1 Transgenic Rats
Cavallaro, Alexandra Giovanna
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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a subgroup of a retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is a progressive failure of the immune system. Millions of dollars have been donated for the research of HIV and how the virus works and effects the different systems of the body. HIV infects cells that are crucial components to the immune system and therefore eventually leads to the loss of cell-mediated immunity if left untreated. The structure of the HIV retrovirus consists of two copies of single-stranded RNA, which produces the nine proteins that HIV expresses. Since HIV enters a wide range of cells, multiple tissues are negatively altered. Previous research determined the HIV-1 Transgenic (Tg) rat is an appropriate model for experimentation due to the fact that HIV-1 viral genes they expressed as well as the immune system’s response to outside invaders was very similar to humans. To determine the effects of HIV proteins, bone histomorphometry was analyzed by taking micron samples of the harvested cortical bones. Comparing the fluorescent bands in the cortical bone allowed the bone formation rate to be determined. CT (computed tomography) scans were taken while rats were still alive to give a visual representation of the bone. From evaluating microCT scans, data was collected to prove the individual cortical bone measurements in HIV-1 Tg rats are significantly less than the control WT rats.