The humanized SCID mouse model is an attractive tool for testing gene therapy to combat human immunodeficiency virus infection in vivo.
To devise a more specific gene therapy directed against HIV, replacing the formerly used interferon with either soluble CD4 molecule immunoadhesin (sCD4-IgG) and/or anti-gp41 monoclonal antibody (2F5), or HIV-negative transdominants genes (Tat, Rev).
Human monocytoid cell line (U937) was transfected with IFN alpha, beta or gamma genes. 3T3 murine fibroblastic cell line was transfected with sCD4-IgG or 2F5, or both genes, and a human T4 cell line (CEM) was grafted to SCID mice. Negative transdominant genes (Tat, Rev or both) were also transduced in CEM T cell line. Animals were then challenged with HIV-1, Viral load was followed.
IFN alpha or beta were potent anti-HIV, reducing viral load in vivo and inhibiting reverse transcriptase activity in human-removed cells from animals. sCD4-IgG immunoadhesin and gp41 monoclonal antibody resulted in a dramatic reduction of HIV-1 cellular and plasmatic viral load in humanized SCID mice. The simultaneous introduction of negative Tat and Rev genes resulted in a synergistic inhibition of HIV-1 replication in vivo.
Despite the marked reduction of HIV-1 propagation by IFN genes or by negative Tat and Rev transdominants, the gene therapy using soluble CD4 immunoadhesin or anti-gp41 was a more efficient preventive treatment against HIV infection.
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