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Helper T-Cells

Nov 25, 2001

I've read that non-progressors produce certain type of "T helper Cells" in enough quantity so as to contain the virus, while progressors produce the same kind of "T helper Cells" but not in enough quantity. Has anybody tried yet to clone these cells, so as to produce considerable amount of them and then infuse them into a pacients blood stream? a) Cloning the same patient's t-cells b) Cloning other patient's t-cells. Science is now able to clone sheeps and pigs. What would be the difficulty in cloning these T-cells? Thanks for your answer.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The cells you are referring to I believe are the CD8 cytotoxic t cells. This type of cell is the primary containment mechanism of HIV replication. The mechanism by which these cells contain replication is the subject of intense research. Infusing other people's cells into someone presents several problems, including horrible rejection reactions. Defining the "active ingredient" in cytotoxic cells, harvesting stem cells and then inserting that ingredient into stem cells of someone who is infected and then reinfusing these cells, which will evolve into mature cytotoxic t cells, is scientifically possible now.

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