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Cryopreservation of Immunocompetent T Cells as a Strategy Against AIDS


It seems unlikely that viral eradication, or permanent containment of viral replication, would be associated with a spontaneous and full recovery of immunocompetence in adults with severe immunodepression induced by HIV. Therefore, in an attempt to prevent infection with HIV resulting in the development of AIDS, and to reconstitute the immune system of immunosuppressed patients with HIV, autologous lymphocytes are being harvested and cryopreserved for later return to their donors.

The results to date suggest that the harvesting procedure does not alter the natural history of the infection. However, many important questions relevant to the use of this approach remain unanswered: (a) will HIV antigenic determinants be recognised by stored cells years after the harvesting; (b) should stored cells be expanded in vitro before being returned; (c) can lymph node studies provide the information needed to choose the optimal time for the return of cells.

With 17 million people infected with HIV, studies related to disease prevention and immunoreconstitution are worthy of urgent attention.

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Correspondence to Professor John M. Dwyer.

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Dwyer, J.M., Lam-Po-Tang, R. & Trickett, A. Cryopreservation of Immunocompetent T Cells as a Strategy Against AIDS. Clin Immunother 4, 89–92 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03259074

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  • Thymic Epithelial Cell
  • Wale Hospital
  • Viral Eradication
  • Allogeneic Lymphocyte
  • Autologous Lymphocyte