Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A reductionist approach to HIV research

01.12.2009
A major obstacle to HIV research is the virus's exquisite specialisation for its human host – meaning that scientists' traditional tools, like the humble lab mouse, can deliver only limited information. Now, a team of researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Biology have made an ingenious assault on this problem by creating a mouse that has key features of HIV infection without being infected with HIV.

George Kassiotis, from the Division of Immunoregulation at MRC National Institute for Medical Research, worked with a team of researchers to create mice whose CD4+ T cells, the cells eliminated by HIV infection, commit a kind of suicide upon activation.

He said, "Although these mice do not fully reproduce every aspect of human HIV-associated immune dysfunction, they do approximate two key immune alterations - CD4+ T cell immune deficiency and generalized immune activation. Further definition of the precise balance between CD4+ T cell killing and immune activation and deficiency will be vital to our understanding of the pathogenesis of immune deficiency virus infection."

The CD4+ T cells in the researchers' mice were engineered to express a toxin, diphtheria toxin A fragment, upon activation. This genetic self-destruct system causes the death of the cell within 48 hours. The resultant loss of activated immune cells caused the mice to exhibit symptoms with some similarities to those of immunodeficiency virus infection. There are clear differences between the mouse and a human infected with HIV, however, such as the fact that the ongoing depletion of nearly all activated CD4+ T cells in the mice does not result in the progressive erosion of naïve and memory CD4+ T cells seen during HIV infection. None-the-less, insights gained from this reductionist model can only help our understanding of human disease. In a commentary on the work in the same issue of Journal of Biology, experts on T cells and HIV at the US National Institutes of Health comment that the mouse will be as useful for its differences from human infection as it will for its similarities.

Notes to Editors:

1. Generalized immune activation as a direct result of activated CD4+ T cell killing
Rute Marques, Adam Williams, Urszula Eksmond, Andy Wullaert, Nigel Killeen, Manolis Pasparakis, Dimitris Kioussis and George Kassioti

Journal of Biology 2009, 8:93 doi:10.1186/jbiol194

2. Journal of Biology is an international journal that publishes biological research articles of exceptional interest or importance, together with associated commentary. Original research articles that are accepted for publication are published in full on the web within two weeks, and are immediately made freely available to all. Articles from the full spectrum of biology are appropriate for consideration, provided that they are of substantial interest or importance, or are likely to have a significant and lasting impact on their field.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

Graeme Baldwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com
http://jbiol.com/content/8/10/93

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>