HIV controllers are rare individuals able to control infection naturally without treatment. CD8+ T immune cells play a critical role for these individuals, suppressing viral load in the long term even without antiretroviral therapy. Scientists at the Institut Pasteur are examining key characteristics of these controllers’ CD8+ T cells, with a view to replicating them in other individuals who are incapable of controlling the virus without treatment. They have successfully reprogrammed CD8+ T cells from non-controllers and bestowed them with properties of controllers’ cells. Cell reprogramming was performed in vitro by temporarily exposing them to a molecule that targets signaling pathways mobilized within controllers’ cells. These findings, published on April 5, 2022 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, provide proof of concept for a cell therapy that could prove effective in achieving HIV remission

Keywords: HIV, remission, CD8 T cells, HIV controllers, HIC, cell therapies