Cytheris Announces Publication of IL-7 Primate Study Showing Rapid and Massive T cell Homing to the Gut
News May 15, 2009
Cytheris SA, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on research and development of new therapies for immune modulation, has announced publication of data from a study in a non-human primate model identifying a new critical function of Interleukin-7 (IL-7) that induces massive and rapid T-cell migration from the blood into various organs, including lymph nodes, parts of the intestine and the skin.
The study points towards the importance of evaluating the potential of IL-7 in combination with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in stimulating the T-cell repopulation of the gut, known to be a latent HIV reservoir where the virus can continue to replicate and suppress immune function. The massive T-cell depletion of the GI tract early in the course of HIV infection opens the patient to the effects of opportunistic infections and malignancies which are frequently associated with a weakened immune system in this patient population.
The paper entitled "Injection of Glycosylated Recombinant Simian IL-7 Provokes Rapid and Massive T-cell Homing in Rhesus Macaques" is prepublished online in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology.
Studies such as the one described in this paper deal with the fundamental role of the gut in harbouring the HIV virus," said Michel Morre, DVM, President and CEO of Cytheris. "This is the question that lies at the heart of the challenge for improving the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy in GI lymphoid tissue. It may also be key to developing vaccines that provide more than a peripheral blood response by addressing the critical issue of mucosal immunity."