Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Make Progress Toward Gene Therapy For HIV Infection

Date:
July 1, 1998
Source:
NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have reported their first findings from a novel study to determine whether virus-fighting immune cells can be genetically altered to boost the immune system's response to HIV infection.

Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have reported their first findings from a novel study to determine whether virus-fighting immune cells can be genetically altered to boost the immune system's response to HIV infection.

"This innovative approach provides further groundwork for future efforts to treat HIV by manipulating the immune system," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

The NIAID scientists studied 30 sets of identical twins in which one twin was infected with HIV and the other was uninfected. HIV-fighting T-cells were taken from the healthy twin and genetically altered to produce an extra receptor that helps the cells recognize HIV-infected cells. The engineered cells were then infused into the HIV-infected twin, with the goal of augmenting or restoring the T-cells' ability to fight the virus.

In a paper to be presented by principal investigator Robert E. Walker, M.D., at the 12th World AIDS Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the scientists report that transfer of genetically altered T-cells into 30 HIV-infected twins was safe and well-tolerated. Trying different combinations of T-cells, they learned that a mix of genetically bolstered CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells proved to be the most long-lived. The cells not only persisted at high levels in the bloodstream for at least 100 days after infusion, but also proliferated.

"Although these results are preliminary, they're encouraging enough for us to take the next steps in studying this approach," says Dr. Walker.

The research is a collaboration with Cell Genesys, Inc., of Foster City, Calif. Cell Genesys scientists developed the methods for transferring the receptor-producing genes into T-cells, while NIAID scientists are conducting the Phase I/II clinical trial of the experimental treatment at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. Cell Genesys is conducting additional work to examine this approach in the more practical setting of autologous infusions in patients undergoing treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy. The patients are being treated with their own cells, which have been genetically modified in the same way.

In a related paper in the July 1998 issue of Nature Medicine, Dr. Walker and NIAID colleagues report that genetically marked but unaltered CD4+ T-cells, infused into six HIV-infected twins, persisted in the blood for an extended period of time (4 to 18 weeks) after transfer.

"This was an unexpected finding," Dr. Walker says. "Transferred cells were assumed to be short-lived. The fact that they live for weeks to months provides a rational basis for transfusing genetically altered cells to fight HIV infection."

To trace the infused cells, Dr. Walker and colleagues injected them with a marker gene called neomycin phosphotransferase. They used this gene because it has a track record for safety, having been used in many cancer and other clinical trials.

Their results also showed that in the HIV-infected twins, new supplies of CD4+ T-cells were coming mainly from division of mature T-cells rather than from stem cells, the precursors of all immune system cells. Thus, once T-cells with certain specificities are lost to HIV infection, they may be difficult to replace.

According to Dr. Walker, this finding suggests that "adoptive transfer of T-cells may prove to be a feasible approach to combating the virus."

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID conducts and supports research to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as HIV disease and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, malaria, asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

###

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the Internet via the NIAID home page at http://www.niaid.nih.gov. The home page for the 12th World AIDS Conference is http://www.aids98.ch.

Reference:

R. Walker, et al. T cell survival in HIV-infected adults: peripheral expansion of pre-existing mature T cells is a major means of CD4+ T cell regeneration. Nature Medicine 4:852-856 (1998).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Scientists Make Progress Toward Gene Therapy For HIV Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980701082523.htm>.
NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. (1998, July 1). Scientists Make Progress Toward Gene Therapy For HIV Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980701082523.htm
NIH-National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Scientists Make Progress Toward Gene Therapy For HIV Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980701082523.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins