Immunotherapy for HIV past the first phase of clinical trials

© Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of HealthВИЧ attacking a human cellImmunotherapy for HIV past the first phase of clinical trials© Pincus, Elizabeth Fischer and Austin Athman, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of HealthПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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Immune cells with modified DNA are successfully engrafted in the body of HIV-infected and began to fight infection without causing side effects. Write about this American molecular biologists, published an article in the journal Molecular Therapy.

«Our main goal is to «teach» the body to deal independently with HIV infection. We have proved that edit the DNA of immune cells does not pose a risk to the patient. The data obtained during the first phase of clinical trials will help us to improve HIV immunotherapy,» said David Margolis (David Margolis) from the University of North Carolina at chapel hill (USA).

HIV enters human cells by using a set of multiple proteins on the surface of its shell. Their structure and the device protecting their «shield» of hydrocarbons is changing with each new generation of HIV that cause the immune system to develop a new set of antibodies. In the majority of cases, the virus is the winner in this «arms race», and this same feature prevents scientists to create a vaccine or inoculation against HIV.

As explained by immunologists, in 3-4 years after infection with HIV the human immune system often begins to synthesize the so-called antibody-wide profile steps (bnAbs) capable of neutralizing multiple strains of the virus. This little assistance to the body, as the virus by this time already will have time to penetrate deeply into all body tissues and go into the chronic stage, the immune system is permanently weakened.

Accordingly, as noted by Margolis, this problem can be overcome if «train» immune cells to produce these antibodies far sooner than depleted immunity, and proactively introduce them into the body in large quantities.

A year ago, biologists from the University of Pennsylvania conducted the first such experiment by modifying the DNA of these Taurus in such a way that they began to produce antibodies that make the HIV particle is «visible» to the immune system.

Successful completion of experiments on animals opened the way for clinical trials on human volunteers infected with HIV and is constantly taking antiretroviral drugs. In the first stage of these experiments, the researchers tested how the contact of immune cells with modified DNA will affect their health and well-being.

Getting a group of seven volunteers, scientists caught adult T-cells from blood samples, selected the most active of them, «incite» them on scraps of shells HIV, and then they modified their DNA and multiplied them. Having received a sufficient number of cells, biologists brought them back into the blood of patients and began looking for changes in their condition.

As shown by these experiments cloned T-cells successfully engrafted in the body of patients, without producing severe inflammation and other dangerous side effects. Since all the participants of the experiments never stopped taking antiretroviral medications, immunotherapy not greatly changed the number of viral particles in their body.

However, experiments on samples of their blood showed that the immune cells of volunteers began much more actively to combat the virus, seizing and destroying the particles and killing infected cells, is covered with a coating of shells HIV.

All of this, says Margolis, opens the way to test the effectiveness of such therapy in the second-phase clinical trials using a larger number of T-cells.