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HIV vaccine takes different tack to boosting immune response

mmune responses," said Chen. "In most cases, we found a significant enhancement in both antibody and T-cell response by inhibiting SOCS1."

Chen hopes this immunization approach of inhibiting SOCS1 will help develop more effective prophylactic as well as therapeutic vaccines. Therapeutic vaccines may contribute to the long-term control of HIV infection and will relieve HIV patients of their heavy dependence on antiretroviral drugs, many of which are expensive and require daily administration.

"Conventional wisdom is that natural immune responses play an important but insufficient role in controlling HIV infection," said Chen. "Hopefully this therapeutic vaccine can boost the natural immune responses strong enough so you don't have to take these anti-HIV drugs all the time."

Chen anticipates testing the HIV vaccine in humans in the next several years. He foresees the SOCS1 silencing strategy enhancing therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines against other pathogens in addition to HIV.

Drs. Xiao-Tong Song and Kevin Evel-Kabler, both postdoctoral associates at BCM's Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, also contributed to the study.


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Source:Baylor College of Medicine


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