Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects primarily the hematopoietic and immune systems. At the onset of infection, an initial activation of the immune system occurs, with a subsequent suppression thereafter due to direct viral infection of cells, inhibitory effects of HIV proteins, an altered microenvironment with cytokine imbalance, and increased apoptosis of both infected and non-infected cells. The CD34+ hematopoietic stem cell, however, remains free of infection. Novel methods in gene therapy utilize viral vectors that can introduce genes with good efficiency into the non-dividing stem cell. Therefore, HIV-resistance genes can be introduced into stem cells using these vectors. This confers resistance to infection to their respective progeny, and concurrently allows for repopulation of the immuno-hematopoietic repertoire. Applications of this technology to the patient infected with HIV are discussed in the context of myeloablative therapy and stem cell rescue.