Growth Hormone in Immune Reconstitution

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Immune cell death or dysfunction is induced by HIV infection and results in an immunocompromised state. Newer treatments are able to control viral replication to prevent massive cytoreduction. Attention must now focus on therapies that will rapidly reconstitute the immune system to provide defense against future HIV attacks as well as opportunistic infections. In addition to increasing the rate of differentiation of myeloid and lymphoid precursors from marrow stem cells, ideal therapies should improve thymic function as well. Growth hormone (GH), a member of the hematopoietic cytokine superfamily and its receptors, is expressed in multiple sites within the immune system. GH has been shown to have a stimulatory effect on the function of thymic cells, as well as other immune cell types. In this paper, we consider the use of GH to reconstitute the immune system following cytoreduction due to HIV infection.

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