According to a new study being published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may help prevent the progression from HIV infection to the development of AIDS.
“Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a crucial role in host antiviral immune response through secretion of type I interferon”, states the study’s abstract. “[P]rolonged pDC activity has been linked with progression from HIV infection to the development of AIDS.”
The study states that; “Patients with HIV in the United States routinely use cannabinoid-based therapies to combat the side effects of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy. However, cannabinoids, including Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are well-characterized immunosuppressants.” In this study, researchers report that “THC suppressed secretion of IFNα by pDC from both healthy and HIV+ donors through a mechanism involving impaired phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 7.” These results suggest that “THC can suppress pDC function during the early host antiviral response by dampening pDC activation.”