Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quality not quantity important for immune response to HIV

18.12.2006
When it comes to an immune response against HIV, research funded by the Wellcome Trust in the UK and the National Institutes of Health in the US has found that bigger is not necessarily better, contrary to conventional medical wisdom. The research may have a profound impact on the development of a vaccine against the disease.

"Conventional medical wisdom tells us that the bigger the immune response, the more effective it will be in controlling HIV," says Professor Philip Goulder, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science at the University of Oxford. "However, our study suggests that this might not be the case. While most of the immune responses generated against HIV appear to be ineffective, responses targeting one particular HIV protein can bring about control of the virus."

About 40 million people are thought to be living with HIV worldwide. The virus, which causes AIDS, is thought to kill 3 million people each year. Despite being first identified in 1981, a vaccine to prevent infection has so far proved elusive.

When HIV infects the body, it hides out in so-called "helper T-cells". T cells play an important role in the immune response generated by the body to fight infection. There are a number of different types of T cells, each playing a different role in this battle. Helper T-cells (HTCs) regulate the body's immune response and it is the loss of these cells that leads to the development of AIDS.

... more about:
»CTC »Goulder »HIV »immune

Another type of T cell, the cytotoxic T cell (CTC), recognises and attacks infected HTCs. It was previously thought that the bigger the CTC response, the more effective it would be. It is this dogma that has influenced development of HIV vaccines, with the vaccines attempting to stimulate a large response.

However, Professor Goulder and colleagues found that the type of CTC response is crucial and that some types of response may have a negative effect and could actually hinder the immune response. The research, a population-based study involving investigators at the University of Oxford in the UK, Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in the US and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, investigated the immune responses against HIV in nearly 580 HIV-infected people in KwaZulu-Natal. It is published online today in the journal Nature Medicine.

"Some of the CTCs attack so-called 'Gag' proteins within the HIV virus, whilst others attack proteins such as the 'Env' protein on its surface," explains Professor Goulder. "In our study group, it seems that the higher the response to the Gag proteins, the more effective the immune system was at fighting infection. However, for reasons that are unclear, the opposite was true for responses to the Env proteins, where a stronger response was associated with a higher viral load – in other words, worse control of HIV."

Professor Goulder believes these findings may have implications for the development of a HIV vaccine.

"There seems to be clear evidence that 'Gag is good'," says Professor Goulder. "This means that rather than developing a vaccine with a spectrum of CTC responses, we may need to look at a more targeted vaccine."

Craig Brierley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

Further reports about: CTC Goulder HIV immune

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>