New research from Ted Golos, PhD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Reproductive Sciences, may provide an important animal model to study HIV therapies that could apply to humans.
The study “Genome editing of CCR5 by CRISPR-Cas9 in Mauritian cynomolgus macaque embryos”, published in Scientific Reports, outlines the research team’s methods for editing the DNA in cynomolgus macaque monkey embryos using CRISPR:
“Nonhuman primates, and more specifically macaques, serve as important model species to study HIV-1 through infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). SIV infected animals show similar elements of human HIV-1 infection including immune responses and pathogenesis, and additionally, tissues are more accessible for study compared to human studies. Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (MCMs) offer a distinct advantage over other macaque species as they have only seven major histocompatibility complex (MHC) haplotypes allowing for the study of defined immune responses and to control genetic factors in the setting of allogeneic bone marrow transplant. This provides a powerful means for quantifying the effect of MHC matching on the capacity of allogeneic cells to purge the SIV reservoir.”
Read this excellent overview of the discovery from UW-Madison News, and read the whole journal article here.