AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a transmissible disease of the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection.
The intestinal mucosa is among the earliest and most serious targets of HIV infection. However, due to technical and other difficulties, studies on intestinal-related diseases are limited by material availability. To explore the feasibility of a biopsy method in intestinal research, in a recent study conducted by Prof. ZHENG Yongtang’s team, from Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIZ, CAS), jejunal resection and anastomosis, was performed on 12 Chinese rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), and the individual subjects were closely observed till 4-month later after the surgery.
In this study, the sampled gut tissues were examined by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence detection, and RNA quality analysis to ensure suitability for histological, physiological, pathological, and immunological detection, as well as mechanistic analysis at the cellular and molecular level. Moreover, the physical, metabolic, as well as immune status of experimental animals was analyzed.The results showed that the surgery did not affect the ratio or number of immune cells in peripheral blood or the concentration of lipids, proteins, and vitamins in plasma, and no significant post-surgery complication was observed on the animal subjects.
The results indicated that jejunal resection and anastomosis have the advantages of: 1) overcome the serious defects in intestinal integrity and cell viability in tissues obtained through autopsy; 2) more suitable for longitudinal intestinal studies, e.g., HIV infection consisting of four distinct phases, i.e., acute infection, incubation, pre-AIDS, and typical AIDS periods; 3) need simpler technical skills than laparoscopic surgery, and could be used in sampling more widely tissues, e.g., duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon; 4) more efficient in acquiring resources, such as epithelial lymphocytes and lamina propria lymphocytes, for longitudinal study of animal intestines.
The main findings of the study were published on Zoological Research(e-publishing ahead of printing, doi:10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.049).