THE FAUCI FILES, 3( 89): Dr. Fauci's Team Does Good Science:
"Activist" Cling-Ons Snore
September 2, 2000
From: Greg Folkers <GFOLKERS@niaid.nih.gov>
Subject: NIAID: B CELLS MAY HELP MAINTAIN HIV INFECTION
Date: 29 Aug 2000
What the hell is going on in this newsgroup? Were you ALL
asleep when Dr. Fauci's assistant posted this? Were you
too busy watching Marty Delaney-DGiunti and his idiot pet
hacker playing stupid kiddie "Mission Improbable" fantasy
games and making fools of themselves to the exclusion of this?
Are you so wrapped up in your "silly string" ACTUP vendettas
and HIV Thought Police stupidity that you never even
had a clue that you missed something good -- something
worthwhile and something that will REALLY end
up saving those lives you've preached so loudly
and regularly about for the past 12 years but
never, ever managed to save even one? NOT ONE!
Why are you here if not for this? Shame on you Martin Delaney
for setting a poor example for the rest. And shame on
the rest of you aspiring activists for allowing that.
When David Ho promises you a one year cure, you giddily
romp off to celebrate a half dozen times at a bathhouse.
When Dr. Fauci takes you toward the cure, you snore.
Here, checkbook activists, let me show you something new...
"...scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID) report for the first time that B
cells-the antibody-producing cells of the immune system-help
ferry HIV throughout the blood and can likely deliver the
virus to nearby T cells. This discovery, reported in the
September 4 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine,
helps explain several phenomena associated with HIV infection
and paves the way for new approaches to eliminating the
virus from the blood."
Time to wake up and smell the progress:
"Dr. Moir and co-workers looked at the B cells carefully to determine
how the virus attached to the cells. They identified the docking
point for HIV, a molecule called CD21. This protein appears on the
surface of B cells and normally binds complement, a molecule that
tags invading microbes and targets them for destruction. The
researchers discovered that HIV, when attached to complement, could
use CD21 as a binding site on the B cell. Because complement
normally "tickles" CD21, thereby signaling B cells to produce
antibodies, the scientists believe the uncontrolled production of
multiple antibodies in people with HIV might be caused by the
repeated stimulation of the B cell as the virus binds CD21."
We knew Fauci could do the science. He's been there before. Now
he's back. When we strip away all the personalities, agendas
and other background noise, that's all that matters: the science.
Got the science? You win. I love science -- I use it as a
battleaxe every chance I get. Ask Dr. Fauci -- he'll tell you.
This is very encouraging news, something which has been in short
supply for a very long time. This is science. Science doesn't
get your mug on Time Magazine's cover like Junk Science
does. Science obviously can't even wake up the sleeping
treatment activists from their heroic "fight against
AIDS" crusade ... yeah, some crusade -- if it isn't a junk
drug announcement or a self-aggrandizing advisory meeting
of one sort or another, these activist pea brains
don't have a clue. That's worse than sad. That's
a waste of food.
But this is how science works. Scientists know that -- gypsy
cling-on brown-nosers don't. Science will end up relegating HIV to
a pathogenic status similar to EBV (Epstein Barr). In effect,
a cure. The activist Cling-ons will sleep through that too,
after all, no party.
This is where HIV's role in causation will be discovered,
irregardless of political posture or gypsy fortune telling
or need to satisfy some OTHER vindictive need to prove
one Berkeley professor wrong ... Mr. Delaney. That's
what the mission has become, hasn't it? Marty's vendetta.
Once the media is gone, Mayor Willie will be looking
for answers you won't have, no matter how many ways
you insist otherwise. Willie's town, not Marty's.
But that's not science -- this is. This is very good.
The B Cell research will help move the research forward in other
areas of immunology -- inch by inch, diseases of chronic
hyperactivation and mixed immunosuppression can be understood and
treated with a dose of sanity rather than barbarism. Lupus.
Lyme. Hepatitis. Perhaps Tuberculosis. Cancer. Allergies.
Gulf War Syndrome. Chronic Whatever Syndrome. Not to
mention other diseases which were never considered to
be immunological diseases, but will be proven to be. Can you
imagine what it might be like when something like chronic
depression is proven to be an immunological disease rather than
a blame-the-patient "mental illness"? If you're skeptical,
look at the science -- increased IL-6 levels in chronic
depression may share as close a correlation as HIV
does with AIDS. Dr. Fauci knows what happens when you
administer IL-2: depression (they just called it something
else along with the other nuisance IL-2 symptoms).
What happens with alpha-Interferon treatment? Anxiety.
Anxiety and Depression -- immunological diseases that
Occam's Razor would favor through the milieu of cytokines and
immune responses rather than some "blame the brain" junk
theory to prop up "serotonin reuptake" drugs for "mental
illness". Does the theme sound as familiar as the
number of quotation marks around each suspicious
concept? It should. Those quotes may speak volumes
about how antidepressant drugs assert their often
short-lived benefits. This is everywhere in medicine.
Same theme, different disease. Find a drug, test the
drug. If the drug looks like it works, make up some
complicated theory that sells. That's just how
things are. Marketing people run the drug companies,
While NIAID has quite a way to go, this is the right direction
and it is important for obvious reasons (e.g. NIAID has
nowhere else to go). Perhaps Dr. Fauci MUST be the next NIH
Director to see this through. He knows the terrain as no
other. Nobody's had to put up with more petty agendas
than Tony Fauci the master politician -- and that is
essential to getting things done in science. The formula
is simple: science gets real results, or endless junk
science distractions get shovelfuls of cures du jour
that will never work, even though the pain-in-the-activist
cling-ons will love you to death for it ... literally.
So what's it going to be: science, progress and cures or
junk science, phony celebrations, more Time Magazine
Man Years and what seems to be a rehab training program
for simpering checkbook-activist Cling-ons,
each chasing their own special interest distraction?
That's the Big Picture. If you need to do the
math on your own, perhaps things begin to add
up when you consider the phrase "cocktail drug
holidays" and think "Holiday On Ice" - or the
"standard of care" which was neither.
Science isn't Burger King -- you can't just have it your way.
Good job, Tony!
W. Fred Shaw, Editor
THE FAUCI FILES
As THE FAUCI FILES evolves with the science (as
promised from its 1998 beginnings...)
Good science this
full article: http://www.jem.org/cgi/content/full/192/5/637.
> NIH NEWS
> National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
> National Institutes of Health
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2000
> Contact: Sam Perdue
> (301) 402-1663
> B CELLS MAY HELP MAINTAIN HIV INFECTION
> The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) devastates the body's ability to
> fight off infection by destroying a key class of T cells essential for
> maintaining a vigorous immune response. Now, scientists from the National
> Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) report for the first
> time that B cells-the antibody-producing cells of the immune system-help
> ferry HIV throughout the blood and can likely deliver the virus to nearby
> T cells. This discovery, reported in the September 4 issue of the Journal
> of Experimental Medicine, helps explain several phenomena associated with
> HIV infection and paves the way for new approaches to eliminating the
> virus from the blood.
> "This study enhances our understanding of how HIV persists in the body and
> might partly explain the abnormalities seen in B-cell function in people
> with HIV infection," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID director and chief
> of the laboratory where the research took place. "Identifying this pool of
> HIV-carrying cells also opens new avenues for treating the infection."
> The research, conducted by Susan Moir, Ph.D., Angela Malaspina, Ph.D., and
> colleagues from NIAID's Laboratory of Immunoregulation, follows reports
> from several laboratories that HIV can infect B cells in the test tube and
> that low levels of HIV genetic material can exist in B cells of
> HIV-infected individuals. None of these reports, however, have identified
> viable HIV associated with the B cells of infected individuals.
> To address this concern, the researchers isolated B cells from the blood
> of people with chronic HIV infection. When they examined these cells for
> the presence of HIV, they found significant levels of the virus attached
> to the surface of the cells. The scientists then used test-tube
> experiments to show the virus could infect T cells under laboratory
> Because of the close interaction between B and T cells in the immune
> system, this discovery casts new light on how HIV can interact with T
> cells. The two cell types constantly form temporary attachments with each
> other to exchange information and coordinate the immune response. This
> gives the B cells ample opportunity to pass HIV to previously uninfected T
> cells. Dr. Moir explains that B cells are not a hidden reservoir of HIV,
> however, because they do not house internalized, replicating virus, and
> the amount of
> B-cell-bound virus decreases as HIV levels decline in the blood. "HIV
> does not appear to reproduce inside B cells, but rather hitches a ride on
> the cell surface so it is free to jump to nearby T cells."
> The studies also might explain why B-cell-mediated immunity in individuals
> with chronic HIV infections can go awry. "People with high levels of HIV
> in the blood often have malfunctions in their B cell responses, such as
> uncontrolled activation of antibody production," explains Dr. Moir. "In
> the past, scientists have thought this was caused largely by indirect
> effects of HIV infection, but now we have evidence that some B cell
> abnormalities might be due to direct viral interference."
> Dr. Moir and co-workers looked at the B cells carefully to determine how
> the virus attached to the cells. They identified the docking point for
> HIV, a molecule called CD21. This protein appears on the surface of B
> cells and normally binds complement, a molecule that tags invading
> microbes and targets them for destruction. The researchers discovered
> that HIV, when attached to complement, could use CD21 as a binding site on
> the B cell. Because complement normally "tickles" CD21, thereby signaling
> B cells to produce antibodies, the scientists believe the uncontrolled
> production of multiple antibodies in people with HIV might be caused by
> the repeated stimulation of the B cell as the virus binds CD21.
> Now that the researchers have shown how B cells might play a role in HIV
> infection, they are testing to see if the HIV in infected T cells is
> genetically related to that on the B cells. They are also pursuing more
> studies on how HIV might directly cause deficiencies in B-cell function.
> "Scientists haven't looked at B cells much during HIV infection," says Dr.
> Moir, "This research opens a new opportunity for better understanding the
> complex nature of the disease."
> Scientists from the National Cancer Institute and Advanced BioScience
> Laboratories, Inc., Kensington, Maryland, also participated in this study.
> NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAID
> conducts and supports research to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses
> such as HIV disease and other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis,
> malaria, asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of
> Health and Human Services.
> S Moir, et al. B cells of HIV-1-infected patients bind virions through
> CD21-complement interactions and transmit infectious virus to activated T
> cells. J Exp Med 192(5):637-45 (2000). This article is available online
> at http://www.jem.org/cgi/content/full/192/5/637.
> Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are
> available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.