Just Another Stethoscopic Life

I'm an international medical student studying in the UK, with a special interest in molecular oncology and research. In this blog, I will post science, thoughts and what not that I experience and come in contact with day to day. Good browsing (hunting) and enjoy! :).

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Engineered Haemopoetic Stem Cells (HSCs) Suppress HIV Replication in vivo (Image from Centre For Disease Control and Prevention)
Recently saw this on the tumblr blog of @talkingmonkeynews, which looks interesting but he only linked a news article (I don’t trust newspaper analyses) and so I decided to go on the PLoS Pathogen site and downloaded the paper itself for a read (it’s opensource). In a nutshell they have reprogrammed HSC CD34+ sorted to by transgenic infection with a lentiviral vector to contain a specific TCR (T-cell receptor) targeted at an epitope of HIV, called the SL9. They transplanted the thymus and lymphoid (inc. secondary haemopoeitic organs like liver and spleen) organs of humans into immunodeficient mice with the HSCs (NOD-SCID). Peripheral blood measurement show presence of naive T-cells generated by the marked HSC and reduced levels of HIV viral RNA by RT-PCR at 2 weeks and 6 weeks post infection using a primer they developed to allow cheap and feasible measurement in lower permissible levels of blood drawn from mice (~50 microliters). Bone marrow engraftment of CD34+ seem to determine the efficacy of blood cell genesis.Further research is needed as the authors have pointed out. Firstly, lymphogenesis varies between experiments and there is not reconstitution of the full haemopoietic system. Secondly, there is still an increasing change in HIV 6 weeks vs 2 weeks post infection, despite there is a suppression of viral load compared to control (no TCR), i.e it doesn’t eradicate it.  There is also no data on function of the T-cells, in particular its direct lethality to HIV virus. General things, such as the fact that lentiviral based gene therapy is questioned if safe in humans also need to reach a consensus in the scientific community. I wonder if lentiviral use can cause an immune reaction in humans as well. There are still many other obstacles/problems and further research will address this. It will be interesting when this is robust enough to compare it with HAART. Article Reference: Kitchen G et al., 2012. PLoS Pathogens, 8(4); e1002649Article link: HIV suppression by transgenic HSC generated T-cells

Engineered Haemopoetic Stem Cells (HSCs) Suppress HIV Replication in vivo (Image from Centre For Disease Control and Prevention)

Recently saw this on the tumblr blog of @talkingmonkeynews, which looks interesting but he only linked a news article (I don’t trust newspaper analyses) and so I decided to go on the PLoS Pathogen site and downloaded the paper itself for a read (it’s opensource). In a nutshell they have reprogrammed HSC CD34+ sorted to by transgenic infection with a lentiviral vector to contain a specific TCR (T-cell receptor) targeted at an epitope of HIV, called the SL9. They transplanted the thymus and lymphoid (inc. secondary haemopoeitic organs like liver and spleen) organs of humans into immunodeficient mice with the HSCs (NOD-SCID). Peripheral blood measurement show presence of naive T-cells generated by the marked HSC and reduced levels of HIV viral RNA by RT-PCR at 2 weeks and 6 weeks post infection using a primer they developed to allow cheap and feasible measurement in lower permissible levels of blood drawn from mice (~50 microliters). Bone marrow engraftment of CD34+ seem to determine the efficacy of blood cell genesis.

Further research is needed as the authors have pointed out. Firstly, lymphogenesis varies between experiments and there is not reconstitution of the full haemopoietic system. Secondly, there is still an increasing change in HIV 6 weeks vs 2 weeks post infection, despite there is a suppression of viral load compared to control (no TCR), i.e it doesn’t eradicate it.  There is also no data on function of the T-cells, in particular its direct lethality to HIV virus. General things, such as the fact that lentiviral based gene therapy is questioned if safe in humans also need to reach a consensus in the scientific community. I wonder if lentiviral use can cause an immune reaction in humans as well. There are still many other obstacles/problems and further research will address this. It will be interesting when this is robust enough to compare it with HAART. 

Article Reference: Kitchen G et al., 2012. PLoS Pathogens, 8(4); e1002649
Article link: HIV suppression by transgenic HSC generated T-cells

2 years ago

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