Scientists announced that for the first time, demonstrated how genetically modified cells can seek out and destroy HIV infected cells in the body.
The study comes to show that the use of genetically modified stem cells that can give rise to immune cells able to fight HIV, is an effective method that does not damage healthy tissue.
In previous research, scientists have taken T cells that help fight infection (CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes) from an individual infected with HIV and identified molecule known as T cell receptor, guiding T cells to recognize and destruction of cells infected with HIV. Now, the current study, researchers at the University of California similarly altered human blood stem cells and found that they can form mature T cells have the ability to attack the HIV virus in tissues where they multiply. The process was conducted by using a surrogate model using humanised mice (which have transferred genes and tissues in humans), the HIV infection progresses in much the same way as in humans.
In a series of tests performed on peripheral blood, plasma and organs of mice revealed that both sptămâni two and six weeks after the introduction of genetically modified cells, CD4 helper T cell counts (which are depleted as a result of infection HIV) increased, while the HIV virus in the body decreased. CD4 cells are white blood cells is an important component of the immune system that helps fight infections.
The results indicate that genetically modified cells were able to develop and migrate to the affected organs to fight infection. “We believe this is a first step in developing a more aggressive approach in correcting defects in the responses of T cells that allow HIV to persist,” said Scott G. Kitchen, who led the study.