About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

HIV's Spread at Cellular Level Stopped by Indian-Origin Researchers

by Rajashri on August 9, 2008 at 4:15 PM
Font : A-A+

 HIV's Spread at Cellular Level Stopped by Indian-Origin Researchers

A revolutionary technique that may suppress HIV's spread dramatically has been identified by an international team of researchers that included Indian origin scientists.

While working with mice infected with HIV, the researchers used a method called RNA interference to knock down three genes in T cells, protecting them from the virus.


They say that this method seemed to prevent HIV from jumping between cells in the mice.

"For the first time, we've used RNAi to dramatically suppress HIV infection in an organism," said co-author Premlata Shankar, who conducted the work while she was a junior investigator at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Immune Disease Institute and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

The discovery raises the possibility of a treatment for HIV that does not involve potentially toxic anti-viral drugs.

In collaboration with Sang-Kyung Lee of Hanyang University, Shankar's lab delivered RNAs (siRNAs) - molecules that silence genes by disrupting the protein templates they produce - directly into T cells, which are targeted by HIV.

Researchers used an apparatus analogous to a truck equipped with GPS and a trailer hitch to haul the siRNAs to their destination.

The truck, in this case, a single-chain antibody developed by Georg Fey of the University of Erlangen in Germany, homed to a protein found exclusively on the surface of T cells.

The trailer hitch, an oligo-9-arginine, pulled siRNAs along for the ride. This new antibody delivery vehicle lends itself to mass production in a dish.

Researchers built thousands of these carriers for use in experiments, loading them with siRNAs targeting three key genes.

One encodes a human protein called CCR5, which dots the surface of T cells and allows HIV to gain entry. The others encode proteins produced by the virus within cells upon infection.

Priti Kumar, Harvard Medical School postdoctoral researcher and first author, mixed the siRNAs with the antibody carriers and injected them into the veins of mice that harbor human T cells rather than their own.

These mice serve as an animal model of HIV. After being infected with the virus, the mice mirror progression of the disease in humans.

Researchers injected the mice with human blood stem cells, which divided time and again, building a human immune system in their hosts.

When infected with HIV, the synthetic immune system seemed to respond as it would in humans, since T cell levels followed the same pattern in both species.

Kumar's siRNAs halted T cell destruction in the mice, essentially stopping the virus in its tracks.

"Both prophylactic and therapeutic regimens proved successful. Apparently, the siRNAs kept HIV from entering most T cells and kept it from replicating when it managed to slip inside," said Kumar.

Kumar and Shankar caution that labs need to confirm the findings in other animals, tweak the dosage, and tinker with the siRNA delivery vehicle before attempting clinical trials.

"I'm not saying we've developed tomorrow's therapy, but this is a major step forward. We've used a small animal model for HIV and proven that RNAi works in that model," Shankar said.

The study is published online Aug. 7 in Cell.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs HIV Symptom AIDS and Pregnancy AIDS-HIV-Cancer Aplastic Anemia Genital Herpes Diabetes and HIV/AIDS Management Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Treatment 

Recommended Reading
AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology
AIDS or HIV is an epidemic disease, a potentially deadly infection that can be prevented with ......
Female Condom - Animation
Animation on how to use Female condom and its advantages....
How to use a condom - Animation
This Interactive provides step by step visual aid showing how to correctly use condoms which can ......
Calls for Funds, Action on Prevention as AIDS Forum Closes
The world AIDS conference ended here Friday with appeals for further funds to care for people ......
AIDS and Pregnancy
The Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is brought about by the deadly human immunodeficiency virus....
AIDS defining malignancies are cancers that occur in patients with AIDS due to their low immunity....
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure...
AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about HIV Clinical Features...
Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Treatment
Antiretroviral therapy for HIV treatment helps to restore the functions of the immune system and pro...
Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia (AA) is a term that refers to a condition where the body fails to produce enough blo...
Diabetes and HIV/AIDS Management
HIV/AIDS patients often present with diabetes or other metabolic disorders. The type of diabetes ass...
Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually- transmitted disease (STD) that affects the genitals....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use