With the help of a new mouse model for HIV infection, scientists have shown that gene silencing with RNA interference (RNAi) may be effective in preventing viral entry and replication in T-cells, according to a study published online today (August 7th) in linkurl:Cell.;http://www.cell.com/ Past studies have used RNAi to suppress HIV infection in cultured cells, but researchers did not have a good animal model simulating chronic HIV-infection in which to test the approach. Another challenge has been targeting the therapy specifically to T-cells within a living organism. "What makes this paper special," says linkurl:Ramesh Akkina,;http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/mip/people/faculty/akkina.htm a microbiologist at Colorado State University who was not involved in the study, "is using an actual animal model." The treatment suppressed viral load and maintained high T-cell levels in mice with humanized immune systems infected with HIV. The team used two different "humanized" HIV mouse models, both immunodeficient so that injected human...
Correction (posted August 8th): The original version of this story contained a misleading sentence in the second paragraph and incomplete attributions for the development of Hu-HSC mice in the fourth paragraph. The Scientist has corrected the sections and regrets the errors.

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