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Expression of chimeric receptor CD4ζ by natural killer cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells improves in vitro activity but does not enhance suppression of HIV infection in vivo.

  • Author(s): Ni, Zhenya
  • Knorr, David A
  • Bendzick, Laura
  • Allred, Jeremy
  • Kaufman, Dan S
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1002/stem.1611
Abstract

Cell-based immunotherapy has been gaining interest as an improved means to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could become a potential resource. Our previous studies have shown hESC and iPSC-derived natural killer (NK) cells can inhibit HIV-infected targets in vitro. Here, we advance those studies by expressing a HIV chimeric receptor combining the extracellular portion of CD4 to the CD3ζ intracellular signaling chain. We hypothesized that expression of this CD4ζ receptor would more efficiently direct hESC- and iPSC-derived NK cells to target HIV-infected cells. In vitro studies showed the CD4ζ expressing hESC- and iPSC-NK cells inhibited HIV replication in CD4+ T-cells more efficiently than their unmodified counterparts. We then evaluated CD4ζ expressing hESC (CD4ζ-hESC)- and iPSC-NK cells in vivo anti-HIV activity using a humanized mouse model. We demonstrated significant suppression of HIV replication in mice treated with both CD4ζ-modified and -unmodified hESC-/iPSC-NK cells compared with control mice. However, we did not observe significantly increased efficacy of CD4ζ expression in suppression of HIV infection. These studies indicate that hESC/iPSC-based immunotherapy can be used as a unique resource to target HIV/AIDS.

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