Immunity Project

Experiment Q&A’s

Return to blog home | Posted in: Blog on Apr 17, 2014 by Reid Rubsamen

Immunity Project is dedicated to developing an HIV vaccine to give away to the world for free. Below are a few critical questions we’re currently finding answers for in the lab.

Question #1: How does the vaccine interact with dendrocytes?

Dendrocytes are white blood cells that interact with any foreign invader, or in this case our vaccine. We start by taking blood from patients and differentiate their monocytes in vitro into dendretic cells. The dendretic cells are then integrated with the vaccine or free peptide. Once those cells turn on, they present peptide to CD8 positive T cells causing those positive T cells to become activated.

Question #2: Does that interaction result in the production of killer T cells?

We take the CD8 positive T cells and integrate them with the activated dendretic cells. The activated dendretic cells send a signal to the CD8 positive T cells telling them that HIV is present. What does this mean? If the interaction is successful, the CD8 positive T cells will turn on and become activated.

Question #3: Once the killer T cells are activated, will they destroy the HIV infected cell?

We take the CD4 positive T cells from the same patient, infect them with HIV, and treat the CD8 positive T cells with those CD4 positive HIV infected T cells. If the CD8 positive T cells are activated, they will send stimulatory molecules to the CD4 positive T cells, killing the HIV infected cells.