Grouse shooting and AIDS

David L. Haviland, Ph.D. dhavilan at IMM2.IMM.UTH.TMC.EDU
Tue Sep 29 17:42:06 EST 1998

At 21:27 9/29/98 GMT, Carlton Hogan wrote:
>In article <6ugg99$n22 at>,
>George M. Carter <gmc0 at> wrote:
>>Donald Forsdyke <forsdyke at> wrote:
>>>    In the AIDS context, the guns are drugs such as AZT and (recently)
>>>the complex of drugs known as HAART. These hit AIDS viruses "on the
>>>wing", but are useless against latent virus which hides usually in DNA
>>>form seamlessly integrated into the DNA of its host cell. We need drugs
>>>to simulate the beaters. In 1991 it was suggested that cytokines such as
>>>TNF-alpha might fill this role. Recently some major laboratories have
>>>taken this up. For further details see the references below. 
>>Eek.  I think this idea is nuts.  Also, I believe there were studies
>>of TNF.  In any event, TNF may well be part of the problem.  To the
>>extent that a) AIDS is partly due to the death of many UNinfected CD4
>>cells and b) that excessive cell-death may be due in part to excessive
>>levels of TNF, this approach seems dangerous.
>Also, TNF is able to bind the tar element of the LTR when no tat
>is present, and initiate transcription. This was an unfortunate 
>side effect noted by F. Wong-Staahl when she was testing anti-tat
>compounds. She was able to reduce tat concentrations nearly to zero,
>but replication still occurred in the presence of TNF

The last thing I am is an AIDS expert; however,  I wonder if this is the
same thing?     

I do recall an old (about 1992) conversation with a group of other
immunologist, some of which were T-cell "folk".  I recall the conversation
centering around a clinical study where HIV infected patients were given
TNF to "hopefully" reduce the kaposi sarcomas.  I don't recall the number
of patients involved with the study but I recall hearing that all TNF
treated patients quickly progressed to full blown AIDS and dying shortly
thereafter.  It was a somber "hindsight" discussion where it was mentioned
that a few months after this study, TNF was found to bind to tat(?) and
initiated viral transcription.

Can anyone shed anymore light on this for me?

Many thanks,

 David L. Haviland, Ph.D.
 Asst. Prof. Immunology 
 University of Texas - Houston, H.S.C.
 Institute of Molecular Medicine  
 2121 W. Holcombe Blvd.  
 Houston, TX  77030 
 Internet:"dhavilan at" 
 Voice: 713.500.2413  FAX: 713.500.2424
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

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