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publicado em 06/08/2011 às 13h30:00
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Natural cell produced by the body is able to combat HIV

Until now only called T cells and antibodies have been described as the body's weapons against AIDS

 
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The latest edition of the journal Nature features a major new development in the fight against AIDS. According to researchers at the Institute Ragon, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, all in the United States, the natural killer cells (NK, its acronym in English), produced by the human body has the capacity to act against HIV . Until then, only those called T cells and antibodies have been described as the body's weapons against AIDS.

The news came to prominence in the Correio Brasiliense, According to the newspaper, the interest of scientists in NK cells have an explanation. Unlike antibodies and T cells, which only provide long-term responses against HIV - and thus give more time for the mutation of the virus - the natural killer give a short-term response. "We are especially interested in the reaction of these cells in the first moments after the infection," says Marcus Altfeld, Ragon Institute. "Previous studies have shown that these cells increase rapidly, soon after the entry of HIV."

To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed HIV sequences and genes linked to the regulation of NK cells in samples of 91 infected individuals. Using tools designed to identify drug resistance mutations, by detecting changes in the viral genome found in the presence of drugs, the researchers found that HIV was mutating as a way of trying to adapt to the presence of natural killer cells.

The hope of the experts is, in the coming years, develop a therapy based on NKS. "For this we need to better understand the molecular mechanisms that allow NK cells recognize HIV-infected cells and learn to manipulate these defenders in humans for therapy or prevention," says Altfeld. "Recent animal studies have suggested that NK cells can develop a sort of immune memory. If this capacity is found in human cells, this is a promising possibility to be explored," added the American researcher.

Source: AGENCIA AIDS
   Palavras-chave:   AIDS    HIV    Nature    Massachusetts Institute of Technology    MIT    Harvard   
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