Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rare versions of immune system genes stave off HIV infection

08.07.2003


Researchers have new answers as to why some HIV-infected individuals don’t progress to full-blown AIDS as rapidly as other HIV-positive people.



Northwestern University scientist Steven M. Wolinsky, M.D., and colleagues found that individuals with certain rare variations, or alleles, of two immune system genes -- human leukocyte antigens A and B (HLA-A and HLA-B) -- are better equipped to stave off HIV than people with more common sets of HLA alleles.

This finding indicates that HIV has evolved to attack the most common immune system genes and that there may be differences in how people respond to infection based on their HLA proteins. Importantly, the research, which was published in the July issue of Nature Medicine, showed that HIV influences human immune response just as humans put evolutionary pressure on the virus.


"We’re pushing on the microbe and it’s pushing back on us," Wolinsky said.

The group’s study, which was conducted in 996 HIV-infected men in Chicago component of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), also has major therapeutic implications for determining the patients who require more aggressive treatment and for developing AIDS vaccines, Wolinsky said.

Wolinsky is the Samuel J. Sackett Professor and chief of infectious disease at the Feinberg School of Medicine and at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also is director of the Great Lakes Regional Center for AIDS Research.

HLA molecules help trigger activity of infection-fighting T cells. During the immune response, HLA proteins bind bits of an invading microbe’s proteins in an infected cell, which are then presented on the infected cell’s surface to killer T cells. The killer T cells, also known as cytotoxic T cells, destroy the infected cell and thereby prevent spread of infection.

Importantly, the study demonstrated the first clinical application of a new statistical method, called minimum description length (MDL), that enabled the researchers to analyze the hundreds of HLA-A and HLA-B alleles found in the Chicago HIV study population and classify patients into disease progression groups based on their ability to bind specific microbial proteins. The investigators were then able to associate nine different HLA "supertypes" with disease outcome.

They found that men with the most frequent HLA supertypes had the highest viral loads – less HIV in their blood -- while the men with the least frequent supertypes had the lowest. One of study’s more significant findings was that black men had lower viral loads than white men.

Findings from the study are especially pertinent to the development of AIDS vaccines. Since it appears that HIV has evolved to assail the most frequent alleles in the population, any vaccine designed to help killer T cells control HIV infection – which is based on the HLA – might not provide protection, Wolinsky said.

Further, because immune system alleles – and, thus disease progression rates -- vary with different populations and geographical areas, it is therefore possible that AIDS vaccines will have to be tailored to specific locations or even for individual patients. Wolinsky’s co-researcher were Elizabeth Trachtenberg, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute Bette Korber, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Thomas Kepler, Duke University, among others.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nwu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>