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HIV Stuns Immune Cells

 
  October, 3 2007 9:15
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
A known suppression factor in the immune system increases in HIV-infected individuals on critical immune cells, reports a study in the November 2007 issue of Nature Immunology. Key targets of HIV infection, CD4+ T cells show elevated levels of the suppression factor and are associated with rapid HIV disease progression.

Bruce Walker and colleagues evaluated HIV-positive people who progressed relatively fast to disease and found significant increases in CTLA-4 expression on CD4+ T lymphocytes compared to those who did not-- so-called 'long-term non-progressors'. The team also compared CTLA-4 expression on CD4+ T cells in people before and after receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy and found higher T cell-associated CTLA-4 in those who were off therapy. Importantly, the team found that blocking the activity of CTLA-4 improved immune function.

These results suggest that decreasing CTLA-4 expression on CD4+ T cells may provide a potential therapy to improve lymphocyte function in HIV-infected individuals.

Author contact:

Bruce Walker (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA)

E-mail: bwalker@partners.org

 

Abstract available online.

 

(C) Nature Immunology press release.


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