Clinical Immunotherapeutics

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 89–94 | Cite as

Immunotoxins

Clinical Potential in the Treatment of AIDS
  • Seth H. Pincus
Leading Article

Summary

Immunotoxins directed against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be of use in treating AIDS by eliminating HIV-infected cells that are actively secreting virus and serving as a nidus for the spread of the infection. These immunotoxins may be directed either toward viral structures expressed on the surface of cells or toward cell populations known to be sites of HIV replication.

The HIV envelope proteins gp120 and gp 41 are the major antigenic structures expressed on infected cells. They may be targeted with CD4 (the viral receptor) or with monoclonal antibodies. Activated lymphocytes expressing the interleukin-2 receptor are an important reservoir of HIV replication.

The efficacy of these immunotoxins has been established in vitro, and mechanisms of enhancement of immunotoxin action have been defined. A CD4-based immunotoxin has completed phase I clinical trials.

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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth H. Pincus
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbial Structure and FunctionNIAID Rocky Mountain LaboratoriesHamiltonUSA

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