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 have 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.
In this current study, the researchers similarly engineered human blood stem cells and found that they can form mature T cells that can attack HIV in tissues where the virus resides and replicates. They did so by using a surrogate model, the humanized mouse, in which HIV infection closely resembles the disease and its progression in humans.
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