UCLA-Engineered Stem Cells Seek Out and Kill HIV in Living Organisms
Human immunodefieciency virus (HIV)
(Photo credit: C. Goldsmith/public domain)
Expanding on previous research providing proof-of-principle that human stem cells can be genetically engineered into HIV-fighting cells, a team of UCLA researchers has now demonstrated that these cells can actually attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism.
The study, published April 12 in the journal PLoS Pathogens, demonstrates for the first time that engineering stem cells to form immune cells that target HIV is effective in suppressing the virus in living tissues in an animal model, said lead investigator Scott G. Kitchen, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute.
“We believe that this study lays the groundwork for the potential use of this type of an approach in combating HIV infection in infected individuals, in hopes of eradicating the virus from the body,” he said.