Study: Stem Cell AIDS Research

Stem Cell AIDS Research

Stem Cell Therapy Removes AIDS Receptors.

Stem cell AIDS and HIV research demonstrated possible cure. Researchers at UCLA AIDS Institute have demonstrated for the first time that a human blood stem cell can combat HIV. It all begins with an immune cell that is engineered into a stem that combats the deadly AIDS virus in lab mice.

AIDS has no cure, but scientists were successful in creating an immune cell that appears to combat the deadly HIV infection in lab mice. This process can potentially be used against a range of chronic viral diseases. The study provides a proof-of-principle that is, a demonstration of feasibility that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine.

Gene-based stem cell therapy specifically removes cell receptor that attracts HIV. The researcher removed CCR5, a cell receptor to which HIV-1 binds for infection. The human body does not require CCR5. Individuals who naturally lack the CCR5 receptor have been found to be essentially resistant to HIV.

Using a humanized mouse model, the researchers transplanted a small RNA molecule known as short hairpin RNA, which induced RNA interference into human blood stem cells to inhibit the expression of CCR5 in human immune cells. This study found that this strategy can be an effective way to treat HIV-infected individuals, by prompting long-term and stable reduction of CCR5.

This phenomenal research was funded by a Rheumatology Fellowship Training grant, the UCLA AIDS Institute, the UCLA Center for AIDS Research, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Cancer Institute.

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