London, January 21 ( ANI ): Researchers have discovered the mechanism that enables CD4 helper T cells to assume the more aggressive role of killer T cells in mounting an immune attack against viruses, cancerous tumors and other damaged or infected cells.
CD4 helper T cells, which normally assist other cells of the immune system during an infection, and CD8 killer T cells, which directly attack and eliminate infected cells, are two of the body's most important immune cells for defending against diseases.
The publication, entitled "MHC Class II Epitope Nesting Modulates Dendritic Cell Function and Improves Generation of Antigen-Specific CD4 Helper T Cells
," was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Immunology (www.
Infection with HIV alters the immunologic landscape, most markedly noted in impaired quality and insufficient quantity of CD4 helper T cells
, and dysregulated cytokine expression resulting from persistent antigen stimulation.
Although the basic cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains unclear, immune cells known as CD4 helper T cells
seem to carry some blame.
To make a cervical cancer vaccine, the dendritic cells, which are harvested from bone marrow, are incubated with two human papillomavirus-16 specific proteins and interleukin-12 to produce activated CD4 helper T cells
and CD8 cytotoxic T cells.
Increased levels of the critical CD4 Helper T cells
The main objective of the Phase II trial was to determine the effect of Remune as a monotherapy on CD4 helper T cells, which are the primary targets of HIV.
Patients are being monitored for changes in immune responses, including number of CD4 helper T cells (specialized white blood cells), in addition to body weight (an indicator of general health) and viral load (the amount of replicating HIV in the bloodstream).
Also CD4 helper T cells
are the cells that are targeted and eventually eliminated by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
A positive reaction is caused primarily by CD4 helper T cells
specific for HIV.