New HIV model suggests killer T cell for vaccine

Apr 29, 2010
Digital illustration of HIV virus

Limited success in modelling the behaviour of the complex, unusual and unpredictable HIV virus has slowed efforts to develop an effective vaccine to prevent AIDS.

A new improved modelling system, developed by Chinese researchers, which attempts to incorporate more of the virus' random behavioural dynamics, suggests that a particular type of could be useful in the development of an .

New research published today, Thursday 29 April, in , describes how physicists and biologists from Xiamen University have been able to incorporate random patterns in the virus' mutation, and the way the virus responds to , into their model.

Gratifyingly, they have found that the new model, and the projections made by the new model for development of disease, mirror real-life, clinical behaviour of the virus.

Clinical trials show that the HIV virus behaves quite normally during the acute first phase of human infection, normally 2-6 weeks after HIV enters the host body, during which time the strength of the virus increases and our immune systems deploy killer T cells, CD4+ T cells, to battle against it.

Outwardly, we would experience flu like symptoms and would, when we started to feel better, imagine that we are over the infection but this is not so with the which somehow avoids total annihilation and manages to spend years rebuilding strength, slowly chipping away at our immune system.

Researchers suspect that HIV's ability to avoid annihilation has to do with its own mutating properties and its ability to preferentially target CD4+ T cells, the master regulators of our immune system.

The model-makers from Xiamen University have created a simulation which takes a wider range of variables into consideration and while they are in agreement that both HIV's mutating and T-cell targeting ability are crucial to the virus' devastating success rate, they have found a possible chink in the virus' armour.

To date, no models have been able to discern between the behavioural patterns of two different types of T-cells, both of which are involved in our internal fights against HIV.

These are CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells. Patterns emerging from these new models now suggest that CD8+T cells could be used to stimulate a stronger response against the virus.

This particular type of T-cell does not appear to be as preferentially targeted by HIV as its counterpart and also appears to be more actively involved in putting the virus down during the first acute phase of the infection.

As the researchers write, "We assess the relative importance of various immune system components in acute phase and have found that the CD8+ T play a decisive role to suppress the viral load. This observation implies that stimulation of a CD8+T cell response might be an important goal in the development of an effective vaccine against AIDS."

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More information: Paper: iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/4/043051

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Yellowdart
not rated yet Apr 29, 2010
T-cell?? Is Umbrella behind this? :)
ThanderMAX
not rated yet Apr 29, 2010
Yet another hypothesis ... hope it fails again in real life.

There are so many other ways to tackle the virus, like methylation of gp160 complex before it is cleaved to gp120 & gp40 ,

*) induce delta32 mutation on chromosome 17 for CCR5 in hematopoietic stem cell line by either zinc finger or something similar,

*) stopping ubiquitination of APOBEC3G complex by (viral)vif gene before it binds to viral precursors by some antagonist or introduce another potent complex similar to APOBEC3G complex.

Main problem with HIV is it's high rate of mutation. Best way to stop its mutation first place is stopping hiv binding with CD4 cell.
somethingcallsme
not rated yet Apr 30, 2010
People in the British Isles have a mutated gene that allows them to have resistance to HIV.
computerbrainz
not rated yet May 02, 2010
Population control..
That theory is just like the others. The vaccine is already out and it's been there. We are witnessing a revolution of disease and how great civilizations fell off the face of the earth.
tkjtkj
not rated yet May 03, 2010
Yet another hypothesis ... hope it fails again


You can't be serious. You've convinced me that you do have an unusual knowledge of virology, etc, but if your first line is your position, you've also convinced me that you lack any sense of compassion for fellow creatures of the earth. Wishing failure upon one who is committed to save human lives thru science is reprehensible.

Despite your erudite presentation of your knowledge of cell biology, you would be a failure as a human being, unless i've misunderstood your comment.

Please tell us you did not mean what your words stated.

tkjtkj@gmail.com