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Combination Therapy Restores T Cell Numbers In HIV-infected Individuals

Date:
March 22, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
CD4+ T cell depletion by HIV is a major blow to the immune system. Combination antiretroviral therapy (c-ART) restores the T cell population, however not all patients respond to this therapy. Researchers report that administration of interleukin-7 (IL-7) to c-ART--treated, HIV-infected patients with low T cell counts, boosted T cell numbers and was well tolerated for 48 weeks. HIV-infected patients may benefit from intermittent IL-7 therapy in combination with c-ART.

CD4+ T cell depletion by HIV is a major blow to the immune system. Combination antiretroviral therapy (c-ART) restores the T cell population, however not all patients respond to this therapy.

University of Paris researchers report that administration of interleukin-7 (IL-7) to c-ART--treated, HIV-infected patients with low T cell counts, boosted T cell numbers and was well tolerated for 48 weeks. HIV-infected patients may benefit from intermittent IL-7 therapy in combination with c-ART.

White blood cells known as CD4+ T cells are the main target of HIV. The virus hijacks these cells and replicates within them, which ultimately destroys the cell. This depletion of the T cell population represents a major blow to the immune system and puts HIV-infected individuals at increased risk of opportunistic infections. Treatment of HIV-infected individuals with a cocktail of drugs called combination antiretroviral therapy (c-ART) is able to restore the T cell population and help fight HIV infection, however not all patients respond to this therapy. The growth factor interleukin-7 (IL-7) is known to stimulate T cell production and survival, suggesting that IL-7 may help restore the T cell population during HIV infection.

In a new study published in the JCI, Yves Levy and colleagues at the University of Paris undertook a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of repeated IL-7 therapy over a 16-day period in 13 c-ART–treated, HIV-infected patients that possessed low T cell counts despite successful suppression of virus levels with c-ART. In these individuals, IL-7 was well tolerated and boosted the number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, which were able to mount an immune response against HIV. These effects were observed for 48 weeks. The data suggest that HIV-infected patients may benefit from intermittent therapy with IL-7 in combination with c-ART.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Levy et al. Enhanced T cell recovery in HIV-1–infected adults through IL-7 treatment. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2009; DOI: 10.1172/JCI38052

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Combination Therapy Restores T Cell Numbers In HIV-infected Individuals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316173313.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, March 22). Combination Therapy Restores T Cell Numbers In HIV-infected Individuals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316173313.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Combination Therapy Restores T Cell Numbers In HIV-infected Individuals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316173313.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

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