A team of researchers at the California University has revealed after its recent study that altering the stem cells present in the human body could potentially help in suppressing HIV, a new report has uncovered.
It has been told by the team that they had conducted the experiment in living tissues in an animal model to find what can help in fighting HIV virus. They at first had taken the killer T cells dubbed CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which are known to fight infection acquired from an HIV-infected individual.
The team said that T cell receptor, a molecule, present inside the body directs the T cell to recognize and kill HIV-infected cells. The study's conclusion raised a ray of hope amongst them to develop a similar strategy to fight the virus in infected individuals too.
They thus conducted another analysis in which they engineered human blood stem cells. The scientists used a surrogate model of a humanized mouse, which can easily and closely resemble the disease as well as its way of progression in humans.
It has been reported that they introduced the engineered cells and following the same, they tested the peripheral blood, organs and plasma of the mice. The experiment showed that the procedure caused the CD4 "helper" T cells to increase, which otherwise decrease, with the decreasing levels of HIV infection in the blood.
The study led them to find that stem cells can be transformed into immune cells or mature T cells, which would attack HIV virus, where it resides and replicates.
"We believe that this is the first step in developing a more aggressive approach in correcting the defects in the human T cell responses that allow HIV to persist in infected people", said Scott G Kitchen, the lead author.