answer to an answer to a thougt

rganssen_imm at rganssen_imm at
Tue Jul 19 19:48:33 EST 1994

In article <30cldk$40u at>, frauwirt at mendel.Berkeley.EDU (Ken Frauwirth (BioKen)) writes:
> Along the lines of a "general factor", but still trying to "improve" the
> patients own T cells, there is the possibility of using retrovirally
> introduced genes to beef up the immune cells.  The advantage to this is that
> a retrovirus (mutated to prevent replication, of course) can be targeted to
> a specific tissue or cell type.  For example, using a deactivated HIV-like
> vector could target a resistance gene (yet to be developed) to CD4+ T cells.
> This obviates the need to remove cells from the patient.  In fact, this type
> of gene therapy is already in the works for genetic diseases (cystic
> fibrosis, for example).
> BioKen
> -- 
> Ken Frauwirth

July 19

Improvement of HIV-patients own T cells to combat the virus has one BIG
problem. The T cells are probably the first targets of the virus. Although they
might not be killed in a direct way by the virus, the number of CD4 T cells (helper T
cells) decrease during progression of the disease. So it is questionable
whether the approach of activating T cells will work in case of HIV. Actually,
It has already been tried by giving AIDS patients IL-2 which is able to
activate T cells and NK cells. Thus far no positive results.


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