Exploring HIV Effects on T-cells using Flow Cytometry

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 12:22

Florescence activated cell sorting or Flow cytometry is responsible for many of the current innovations made against HIV. Newer-generation FACS machines, proficient of using multi-color panels, are allowing researchers to measure lymphocyte subsets more precisely and cost-effectively. In the case of HIV, flow cytometry can identify which cell subsets are affected by the infection among individual patients. Initial studies using flow cytometry outlined the alterations to major cell pedigrees that occur after HIV infection resulting in a decrease in CD4 positive T-cells and a shared surge in CD8 positive T-cells (1). Consequently, investigators documented the elevated degree at which T-cells were absent in HIV positive human subjects by executing kinetic analyses of T-cell turnover (2). These studies utilized flow cytometry to compute CD4 positive T-cells numbers prior and subsequent to the development of new therapy. Advances in flow cytometry, have led researchers to enhance their comprehension of how the T-cells emerge upon infection. During the initial stages of HIV infection a sizeable number of memory CD4 positive T-cells cause destruction to the gut which in turn allows the translocation of infectious byproducts into systemic circulation. These microbial ligands for toll-like receptors, attach to CD4 and CD8 positive T-cells, triggering the loss of T-cells accompanied in the initial HIV infection. FACS have also bestowed vital clinical data that facilitates disease outcomes suggesting that CD4 positive T-cell count and viral load are the most relevant predictors of the disease (3) in addition to several extracellular and intracellular markers are commercially available to test HIV-specific T-cells a across a wide variety of patient groups, ranging from early to acute and chronic HIV infection.

  1. PMID: 8133451
  2. PMID: 7816094
  3. PMID: 7686224

Novus Biologicals is in the fore front specializing in flow cytometry reagents for your research studies and offer a wide variety of exploratory tools for your FACS needs.

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