12 December 2008

Monoclonal antibodies against AIDS

Scientists have managed to prevent the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in macaques with the help of monoclonal antibodies. During the study, no serious side effects of treatment were found.

Employees of the University of Atlanta (Georgia) used macaques infected with an HIV-like monkey immunodeficiency virus in the experiment. The animals received four injections of monoclonal antibodies, the target of which was a protein called PD-1, which is involved in suppressing the activity of cells of the immune system in HIV infection and hepatitis C. Scientists suggested that the "shutdown" of the protein would lead to activation of T-lymphocytes capable of detecting and destroying cells infected with the virus.

Immunodeficiency syndrome, similar to AIDS, developed in untreated animals within five months after the start of the study. However, the macaques who received injections of antibodies remained outwardly healthy throughout the experiment.

Previously, a similar method of HIV treatment/AIDS was tested on mice, but the positive results were not convincing, since rodents are considered far from an ideal model for studying HIV infection.

According to the researchers, the introduction of monoclonal antibodies could lead to the development of severe autoimmune reactions in primates. However, during the experiment, no significant complications were recorded. In this regard, the developers hope to start testing a new treatment method on humans next year.

However, clinical trials of monoclonal antibodies to the PD-1 protein are already being conducted in the USA. According to Nature, the American biotech company Medarex is testing them as a treatment for chronic hepatitis C.

Copper news based on Nature: Antibody fights AIDS-like disease in monkeysPortal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru


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