- 7 Jun 2011
Stem cells kill HIV
Stem Cell-AIDS Study Shows Genetically Engineered Cells Can Kill HIV In MiceEngineered stem cells have been shown to attack and kill the HIV virus in mice. A study led by Scott G. Kitchen of UCLA has shown the destruction of HIV inside living tissue by engineering stem cells into immune cells designed to target HIV. This is also the first study to show this within a live animal host.
Previous studies had shown which CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes (the infamous "T-Cell") fought off HIV infected cells in humans. Unfortunately, there are not enough of these "T-Cells" within a human to fight off the infection. Scientists in this study were able to take the part of the "T-Cell" (the T cell receptor) which identifies and attacks HIV and clone it. Then, using this to engineer the stem cells they implanted them into human thymus tissue, which had been implanted in mice. These stem cells then developed into large quantities of multi functional, HIV specific CD8 cells.