An early morning satellite meeting on “HIV, NeuroAids, Drug Abuse, and EVs” preceded the official opening of the fourth annual International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) meeting in Washington, DC, later in the morning on Thursday, April 23. The general theme was that retroviruses and EVs share many characteristics. And many suggest that, indeed, retroviruses can perhaps be viewed as a type of EV. Despite considerable progress against HIV disease since the discovery of HIV in the 1980s, numerous challenges remain, for example, predicting, diagnosing, and treating the HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND, including NeuroAIDS). This symposium examined the complex interplay between HIV, host EVs, disease, and drugs of abuse, and was briefly introduced by Dr. Kenneth Witwer, who works in the HIV/exosome area at Johns Hopkins and is chair of the local organizing committee. One of the session speakers was Dr. Norman Haughey, also of Johns Hopkins, and he described his group’s work demonstrating that brain-derived exosomes regulate the peripheral nervous system response to brain injury. In particular, he showed how exosomes from the brain interact with the liver to stimulate the production of neutrophils that travel to the site of injury in the brain. Other session speakers included Dr. Jeymohan Joseph, Chief of HIV Neuropathogenesis at the NIMH, who described “NIMH Priorities in NeuroAids and Exosome Research;” Dr. John Satterlee, Program Director for Epigenetics, Model Organism Genetics & Functional Genomics, NIDA, who spoke on “Extracellular Vesicles: NIDA and the Common Fund Extracellular RNA Communication Program;” Dr. Vincent C. Bond, Acting Chair of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, who spoke on “Cytokines Associated with Exosomes in HIV-infected Individuals;” Dr.
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