A new study which was conducted at the University of California and published in JCI Insight, indicates the mechanism through which mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) enhance the body's immune response to the virus. It also provides a roadmap for developing multi-pronged HIV eradication strategies. They investigated the effect of MSCs infusions on gut mucosal recovery, antiviral immunity, and viral suppression and determined associated molecular/metabolic signatures. MSC administration to SIV-infected macaques resulted in viral reduction and heightened virus-specific responses. Although antiretroviral therapy suppresses HIV replication, it does not eliminate viral reservoirs or restore damaged lymphoid tissue, posing obstacles to HIV eradication. This study founds that MSCs can reduce the amount of virus causing AIDS, boost the body's antiviral immunity, and restore the gut's lymphoid follicles damaged by HIV. MSCs are good synergistic partner components with drugs. The antiretroviral drugs can stop the fire of the viral infection but cannot restore the forest of the lymphoid tissue compartment. The MSCs would rejuvenate the field and bring back immune vitality.

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JCI Insight. 2021;6(12):e149033. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.149033.