A Smart + Strong Site
Subscribe to:
E-newsletters
POZ magazine
JOIN AIDSMEDS YouTube

Back to home » Treatment News » Top Stories

Most Popular Stories
Undetectable Viral Load Essentially Eliminates Transmission Risk in Straight Couples
A 15-Year Jump in Life Expectancy for People With HIV
Life Expectancy for Young People With HIV Is Nearly Normal
Failure to Awaken Dormant Cells Deals Blow to HIV Cure Research
Scientists Devise Method of Snipping HIV From Immune Cells
Media Cooks Up Claim That Soy Sauce Treats, Even Cures HIV
FDA Approves New Single-Tablet HIV Regimen, Triumeq
What's That Mean?
(just double-click it!)

If you don't understand one of the words in this article, just double-click it. A window will open with a definition from mondofacto's On-line Medical Dictionary. If the double-click feature doesn't work in your browser, you can enter the word below:

Most Popular Lessons
Aging & HIV
The HIV Life Cycle
Shingles
Herpes Simplex Virus
Syphilis & Neurosyphilis
Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)
What is AIDS & HIV?
More News

Have medical or treatment news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to news@aidsmeds.com.

Click here for more news


emailprint

April 13, 2012

Engineering CD8 Cells to Kill HIV in Tissues

by Trenton Straube

Expanding on previous research providing proof-of-concept that human stem cells can be genetically engineered into HIV-fighting cells, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) have now demonstrated that these cells can actually attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism. 

The study, published April 12 in the journal PLoS Pathogens and highlighted in an accompanying news announcement, demonstrates for the first time that engineering stem cells to form immune cells that target HIV is effective in suppressing the virus in living tissues in an animal model.

“We believe that this study lays the groundwork for the potential use of this type of an approach in combating HIV infection in infected individuals, in hopes of eradicating the virus from the body,” said Scott Kitchen, PhD, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and an author of the PLoS Pathogens report, according to an accompanying news announcement.  

In the previous research, the scientists took CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes—the “killer” T cells that help fight infection—from a person living with HIV and identified the molecule known as the T cell receptor, which guides the T cell in recognizing and killing HIV-infected cells.

While these cells are able to destroy HIV-infected cells, they do not exist in great enough quantities to clear the virus from the body. So the scientists cloned the T cell receptor and used this to genetically engineer human blood stem cells. They then placed the engineered stem cells into human thymus tissue that had been implanted in mice, allowing them to study the reaction in a living organism. 

The engineered stem cells developed into a large population of mature, multi-functional HIV-specific CD8 cells that could specifically target cells containing HIV proteins. The researchers also discovered that HIV-specific T cell receptors have to be matched to an individual in much the same way an organ is matched to a transplant patient.

In this current study, Kitchen and his colleagues similarly engineered human blood stem cells and found that they can form mature T cells that can attack HIV in tissues where the virus resides and replicates. They did so by using a surrogate model—the humanized mouse—in which HIV infection closely resembles the disease and its progression in humans. 

In a series of tests on the mice’s peripheral blood, plasma and organs conducted two weeks and six weeks after introducing the engineered cells, the researchers found that the number of CD4 cells increased, while viral load decreased. 

The researchers did note a potential weakness with the study: Human immune cells reconstituted at a lower level in the humanized mice than they would in humans, and as a result, the mice’s immune systems were mostly, though not completely, reconstructed. Because of this, HIV may be slower to mutate in the mice than in human hosts. So the use of multiple engineered T cell receptors may be one way to adjust for the higher potential for HIV mutation in humans. 

“We believe that this is the first step in developing a more aggressive approach in correcting the defects in the human T cell responses that allow HIV to persist in infected people,” Kitchen said.

Next up, Kitchen and his colleagues say they will begin making T cell receptors that target different parts of HIV and that could be used in more genetically matched individuals.

Search: cd8, cd4, t cells, cytotoxic t lymphocytes, ucla, stem cells, genetic engineering, kitchen, plos


Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The AIDSmeds team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include ":" "@" "<" ">" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Show comments (30 total)


[Go to top]

Quick Links
About HIV and AIDS
The Cure
Lab Tests
Clinical Trials
HIV Meds
Starting Treatment
Switching Treatment
Drug Resistance
Side Effects
Disclosure
Lipodystrophy
Hepatitis & HIV
Women & Children
Fact Sheets
Treatment News
Community Forums
Blogs
Conference Coverage
Health Services Directory
POZ Magazine


    CuteBoyinQns
    Jackson Heights
    New York


    juliar33
    brooklyn
    New York


    Deelight4u
    BROOKLYN
    New York


    donnyp
    liberty
    Kentucky
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Conference Coverage

XX International AIDS Conference
(AIDS 2014)
Melbourne, Australia
July 20 - 25, 2014


21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
(CROI 2014)
Boston, MA
March 3 - 7, 2014


7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention
(IAS 2013)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
June 30 - July 3, 2013


more conference coverage

[ about AIDSmeds | AIDSmeds advisory board | our staff | advertising policy | advertise/contact us]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.