Immune Cells in Mice That Fight HIV Created

Jerry Reth | July 3, 2010 | 0 Comments More

Immune Cells in Mice That Fight HIV Created – Scientists have been able to create immune cells in mice that are able to fight off HIV. The new lead in gene therapy is a huge step against the virus that causes AIDS. The research was conducted on a number of human stem cells. They tinkered with the stem cells and then inserted them into mice. They multiplied into immune system cells that added protection against infection with HIV. The study was released on July 2 in Nature Biotechnology.
The research is groundbreaking, and nothing like it has ever been seen before. The mice have been “humanized” in the testing; meaning that they have human immune systems and have resisted a disease that normally affects humans.

While the research is promising, it means very little until they see similar results in human testing. Often times there are slight differences between the findings of tests on mice, and the findings of tests on humans. There is currently no way to predict whether or not the treatment will even be suitable for humans.
In gene therapy, doctors attempt to convince the human body to behave differently by tweaking the genetic structure of the individual. In order to fight HIV, doctors have attempted to boost immune system cells in order to fight off the disease.
The receptor to the disease, known as CCR5, is disabled in a very small percentage of people worldwide. By turning off the receptor, scientists believe that they will have found a way to make people immune to the HIV virus. The hope is that through gene therapy, they will be able to reach this goal in the near future.

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Category: Health News

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