Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein Identified That Turns Off HIV-fighting T Cells

Date:
November 13, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
In HIV-infected patients, the body's immune system is unable to fight off the virus. A new study shows that T cells in HIV-infected individuals express a protein called TIM-3, which inactivates their virus killing capacity. Blocking this protein, the study suggests, might one day help patients to eliminate HIV as well as other chronic infections.

In HIV-infected patients the body's immune system is unable to fight off the virus. A new study to be published online on November 10th in the Journal of Experimental Medicine shows that T cells in HIV-infected individuals express a protein called TIM-3, which inactivates their virus killing capacity. Blocking this protein, the study suggests, might one day help patients to eliminate HIV as well as other chronic infections.

Large numbers of virus-fighting T cells can be found in the blood of most chronically infected HIV patients. However these cells eventually become exhausted and cannot function. To identify the cause of this exhaustion, a team of researchers at the University of Toronto, lead by Mario Ostrowski, compared blood from healthy individuals and HIV patients. In the patients, TIM-3 was found on a large number of HIV-specific T cells, and the number of TIM-3-positive cells increased with the severity of infection.

Under normal circumstances, exposing T cells to bits of virus causes the cells to replicate and produce virus-killing chemicals. Cells expressing TIM-3, however, were unreactive and TIM-3 was to blame; disrupting its signals restored the cells' virus-fighting functions. TIM-3 normally gets expressed on T cells after they carry out their normal function, perhaps as a way to turn the cells off and thus prevent excessive inflammation. But during HIV infection, persistent TIM-3 expression may help the virus avoid T cell attack.

Whether HIV infection itself induces or sustains TIM-3 is not known. Still, blocking the protein might be a useful way to control virus that persists despite antiretroviral therapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Protein Identified That Turns Off HIV-fighting T Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110112058.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2008, November 13). Protein Identified That Turns Off HIV-fighting T Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110112058.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Protein Identified That Turns Off HIV-fighting T Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081110112058.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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