Breaking News
February 21, 2018 - Household Products May Pollute the Air as Much as Your Car Does: Study
February 21, 2018 - Combo Bests Targeted Agent in mRCC
February 21, 2018 - Researchers discover brain pathway that dissociates opioid addiction from analgesia
February 21, 2018 - Scientists uncover how newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels
February 21, 2018 - Brain’s quality control process holds clues to obesity’s roots
February 21, 2018 - Researchers to study whether menstrual cups can help prevent vaginal infections
February 21, 2018 - MS patients who feel stigmatized more likely to suffer from depression
February 21, 2018 - Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy could protect against childhood obesity
February 21, 2018 - Lower-Quality Medical Tx Might Have Skewed Key PCI vs CABG Trials
February 21, 2018 - Love and fear are visible across the brain instead of being restricted to any brain region
February 21, 2018 - Adults with congenital heart disease have increased risk for dementia, study finds
February 21, 2018 - Clinical trial studying type 1 diabetes reaches full enrollment
February 21, 2018 - Father’s stress affects the brain development of offspring, mice study shows
February 21, 2018 - ESRD Death Declines in Vasculitis Patients
February 21, 2018 - Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology
February 21, 2018 - Google AI device could predict a person’s risk of a heart attack
February 20, 2018 - FDA Approves Domestic Source for Tc-99m Isotopes
February 20, 2018 - Sanofi rejects refund demand faces Philippine suit over dengue vaccine (Update)
February 20, 2018 - Researchers discover that activation of specific enzyme may help suppress tumor metastasis
February 20, 2018 - Blood or marrow transplantation survivors have higher risk of cognitive impairment
February 20, 2018 - Booze Beats Pot at Being Unhealthy: Oregon Poll
February 20, 2018 - Morning Break: ’20 Years Late’; Drugs in the Dirt; Catching Flu in the Dorm
February 20, 2018 - Another piece to the puzzle in naked mole rats’ long, cancer-free life
February 20, 2018 - Scientists identify four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones
February 20, 2018 - New e-Health solution developed to prevent cardiovascular disease, dementia in senior citizens
February 20, 2018 - New genetic risk score could help guide screening decisions for prostate cancer
February 20, 2018 - Study finds higher risk of stroke among blacks with atrial fibrillation than whites
February 20, 2018 - Physical activity could be used as strategy for diabetes prevention
February 20, 2018 - Researchers develop sensing method for early detection of cancer and diabetes
February 20, 2018 - New wearable electronics could be game-changer for stroke rehabilitation
February 20, 2018 - Immune history influences person’s response to flu vaccine
February 20, 2018 - Research findings could help develop new drugs to prevent, treat dry eye disease
February 20, 2018 - Serenity Now! Learn to Have Patience with Patients
February 20, 2018 - Computer simulation addresses the problem of blood clotting
February 20, 2018 - Women with type 1 diabetes not protected against coronary artery disease
February 20, 2018 - Persistent bloating can be a sign of ovarian cancer, warns charity
February 20, 2018 - Trump administration proposes rule to loosen curbs on short-term health plans
February 20, 2018 - Key protein involved in epigenetic regulation of gene expression guides skin cell renewal
February 20, 2018 - Heart attack symptoms often missed in women
February 20, 2018 - Diagnosis of celiac disease takes 3.5 years for patients who do not report GI symptoms
February 20, 2018 - Study reveals functional dynamics of ion channels
February 20, 2018 - Study explores link between mortality risk and combustible tobacco use
February 20, 2018 - ‘She Trusted Me, and I’d Turned Her Away’
February 20, 2018 - AbbVie and Voyager Therapeutics collaborate to develop new treatments for tauopathies
February 20, 2018 - Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term
February 20, 2018 - Therapeutic target for glaucoma could have treatment ramifications for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
February 20, 2018 - Overcoming Negative Reviews | Medpage Today
February 20, 2018 - MyD88—villain of allergies and asthma
February 20, 2018 - Food scientists develop rapid screening technique to detect pesticide residue in vegetables
February 20, 2018 - Lab-grown cerebellar cells may help explain how ASD develops at molecular level
February 20, 2018 - Scientists explore connection between bad sleep habits and stiff blood vessels
February 20, 2018 - New Treatment Apalutamide (Erleada) Approved for Prostate Cancer That Resists Hormone Therapy
February 20, 2018 - Do You Really Need My Signature on That?
February 20, 2018 - HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection
February 20, 2018 - Diabetes does not increase work-loss years due to early retirement
February 20, 2018 - Researchers aim to find out how PTSD affects decisions of police
February 20, 2018 - UH Cleveland Medical Center explores novel treatments for uterine fibroids
February 20, 2018 - Flu Vax Efficacy 25% Against Predominant H3N2 Strain So Far
February 20, 2018 - HIV screening most optimal at 25 years of age if no risk factors
February 20, 2018 - Loyola Medicine primary care physician offers advice to minimize risk of flu
February 20, 2018 - Safe sleep recommendations for parents that may help reduce child’s risk of SUID
February 20, 2018 - Why Do So Few Docs Have Buprenorphine Waivers?
February 20, 2018 - Low levels of alcohol good for the brain
February 20, 2018 - Experimental treatment improves invisible symptoms of a man with spinal cord injury
February 20, 2018 - Myriad’s EndoPredict offers better prediction of breast cancer recurrence, analysis shows
February 20, 2018 - Researchers identify fifteen genes that determine our facial features
February 20, 2018 - Morning Break: New Health IT Player; Luxturna No Bargain; Nuclear Freakout
February 20, 2018 - How does it compare? Hospice care at home, at assisted living facility, at nursing home
February 19, 2018 - Scientists develop water-soluble warped nanographene for bioimaging
February 19, 2018 - It’s Not Your Imagination: You’re Hungrier After Losing Weight
February 19, 2018 - Antihypertensive Use At Delivery Rising in Preeclampsia
February 19, 2018 - A centuries-old math equation used to solve a modern-day genetics challenge
February 19, 2018 - Liquid biopsies could be used as new predictive marker for metastatic TNBC
February 19, 2018 - Russian researchers develop new multi-layered biodegradable scaffolds
February 19, 2018 - Are ‘Vaccine Skeptics’ Responsible for Flu Deaths?
February 19, 2018 - Hidden genetic effects behind immune diseases may be missed, study suggests
February 19, 2018 - Emergency nurses experience regular verbal and physical abuse
February 19, 2018 - Study sheds light on biology that guides behavior across different stages of life
February 19, 2018 - Morning Break: Transgender Breast Feeding; Brazilian ‘Pro-Vaxxers’; Post-Stroke Exercise
February 19, 2018 - Meningitis vaccination strategy in Africa found to be effective, economical
Immunologist focuses on initial stages of infection to fight against HIV

Immunologist focuses on initial stages of infection to fight against HIV

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

In a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, Doris Wilflingseder investigates the initial stages of infection – the time span when the immune system might still stop HIV.

Complement-coated HIV (pink) attached to a dendritic cell (green-blue). Quelle: Wilflingseder D./Pfaller K.

“HIV has been intensively investigated in research labs all over the world for more than 30 years”, says Doris Wilflingseder, and throughout that time it has been resisting effective treatment. “The virus mutates incredibly fast and plays a cat-and-mouse game with our immune system”, adds Wilflingseder, a researcher at the Medical University of Innsbruck. Within the context of the FWF-funded project HIV infection and transmission close to reality, the immunologist heads a research group which works on describing the interaction of the virus with the immune system – before the immune deficiency spreads and the body might still defend itself against the virus.

INITIAL CONTACT AS PIVOTAL POINT

It is known that HIV infiltrates the genetic material of T helper cells, which constitute an essential element of the body’s immune response – and that makes the virus so dangerous. Instead of effectively fighting the intruder, these cells are exploited by the virus and thus support the virus attack until the immune system finally breaks.
“Our approach considers the initial contact between immune cells in the mucosa and the pathogens to be the pivotal point”, explains the scientist. She places her bet on the complement system, the part of the innate immune system which can immediately destroy pathogens. “This part of our immune defense system is not taken into account by most other research teams, although it is a key element in the acute infection phase and can contribute to a successful fight against the virus”, explains Wilflingseder. Basically, the complement system coats the invading HI-virus, thus marking it as such for the immune cells. Dendritic cells are then able to perceive the virus as an intruder and spring into action. These sentinels of the skin and mucosa apprehend anything they perceive as a foreign substance and deliver their prey “free of charge” to T helper and killer T cells.

DEVIL IN THE DETAIL

“Our trials and investigations have illustrated that complement-coated HIV is detected more readily by dendritic cells and, subsequently, more efficiently battled by effector cells than a virus that carries no immunological marker.” On basis of these results achieved by Wilflingseder on cell cultures, a therapeutic vaccine might, in principle, be conceivable – in principle only, because the devil is in the detail. In this case it is the fact that the window of opportunity is only open for two weeks. “After that time, we see the emergence of HIV-specific antibodies that recognize the virus but do not neutralize it in that time span. In this way, the immune response conveyed by the dendritic cells is changed again, since other receptors get stimulated on the cells”, notes Wilflingseder.

“Right now, our research aims at gaining a better understanding of the immune system and these coating processes specifically at the beginning of the infection. We hope this will help us to find ways of strengthening the immune system even during the chronic phase of HIV infection”, says Wilflingseder, putting any premature hopes for treatment into perspective.

THE POTENTIAL OF NEW MODELS

The researcher does see definite success and progress in another field. Doris Wilflingseder started and refined her investigations with the help of cell cultures. “Cell cultures are often very simple. They have none of the more complex structures we find in different types of tissue”, she summarizes. For a long time, scientists skirted this disadvantage by using animal testing. “But now we are establishing really good 3D cell culture models. Lab-grown 3D structures and organoids increase our chances even further.”

The researcher is convinced that animal testing is not only dubious but also substitutable in many cases. “I collaborate closely with physiologists and bio-informatics experts on developing 3D cultures.” Wilflingseder contributes her expertise and instinctive understanding of 3D cultures to this process. “Knowing intuitively when to change the media and when to take samples is important.” Quite frequently, confirms the scholar, the right time does not follow a regular pattern. In order to suss it out one needs experience and creativity. “It’s comparable to cooking. It is striking that people who can cook and bake also have a good instinct for cell cultures.” The new models provide a better way, and, even more importantly, a method involving the human immune system, of investigating cancer and infections in a more relevant system.

Source:

http://scilog.fwf.ac.at/en/biology-and-medicine/7079/hiv-infection-brevity-right-moment

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles