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Evaluation of the immunotherapy impact on T lymphocyte response against HIV.

Grant number: 22/13312-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2023
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Cellular Immunology
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Sobhie Diaz
Grantee:Marcella Vassão de Almeida Baptista
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Immunotherapy based on monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs) is a promising strategy for the treatment of HIV-infected individuals. Due to their remarkable plasticity, heterogeneous populations of MDDCs can be obtained in vitro, depending on the culture conditions. Consequently, the capacity of these cells to secrete cytokines and express molecules that participate in the antigenic presentation process (MHC, adhesion molecules and costimulators) may vary, interfering with the profile and efficacy of the immune response. A clinical therapeutic vaccination protocol for the treatment of chronically HIV-infected individuals is currently underway in our laboratory, in conjunction with other interventions. Thus, a more in-depth investigation into the characteristics of DCs inoculated in the individuals included in the study becomes opportune. This fact offers the rare opportunity to correlate phenotypic and functional aspects of MDDCs with an in vivo response. In this context, the objective of this study is to characterize MDDCs from HIV-infected individuals used in immunotherapy with regard to phenotypic and functional aspects and to correlate with the response to vaccination. To this end, MDDCs will be investigated in relation to the expression profile of surface molecules through flow cytometry, and their ability to induce a specific response in vitro, through the evaluation of cytokine production by autologous lymphocytes stimulated by the peptides used in cell therapy. The results obtained may provide evidence on the characteristics of MDDCs that could promote a better post-vaccination response, and evidence of a specific response to HIV caused by cell therapy, paving the way for the improvement of the therapeutic vaccine.

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