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Friday, January 06, 2006

Go, Go Gadget Immune System

Researchers at BCM are looking at a kind of supplemental vaccine which increases immune response as a way to perhaps make future HIV vaccines more potent and successful. They claim that by inhibiting the production of a molecule in dendritic cells they increased their ability to activate the rest of the immune system.
Most immunization attempts to stimulate an immune response to HIV in the past have been disappointing, but Chen says his laboratory results hold promise to make current HIV vaccines work better. SOCS1 was found to be part of a pathway that not only controls the production of compounds (cytokines) that stimulate inflammation but also plays a critical role in regulating the potency of anti-HIV immune response. Dendritic cells in which SOSC1 was switched off were able to induce an effective long-term memory immune response to HIV.

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