Designer T-cells Clear autoimmune disease, without weakening the immune system
Successfully tested in mice, could this protocol lead to new ways to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes in people.
|Designer T-cells Clear autoimmune disease|
Currently, the main treatment for autoimmune diseases comprising the suppression of inflammation by blocking the immune cells with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids. While temporarily relieve the symptoms, these drugs can inhibit the immune system at the same time and leave the patient vulnerable to certain infections.
Therefore, scientists are trying a new type of treatment that target autoimmune and inflammatory immune cells without disturbing the immune system. Thus the power of immune system remains unaffected with this type of treatment.
New research highlighted in Science Translational Medicine, explains how researchers have developed specific T cells pathogenic immune cells without destroying immune system.
Facts about autoimmune diseases
Redesigning the immune system
The research was carried out and discovered by Shinpei Kasagi by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Researchers have created an environment of immuno suppressed mice or experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis with non-obese diabetes or an immune molecule with the call control of TGF-beta. Autoantigenic peptides were then injected in the animals; These peptides are the molecules to create the specific regulatory T cells and found in the differentiation of T cells specific for the antigen.
Regulatory T cells and inflammatory then allowed to go in the tissues and organs of mice. In essence the researchers, redesigned the immune system with regulatory T cells.
Scientists have found that regulatory newly generated T cells not only stopped the autoimmune disease, but the animals have remained free of disease after stopping the injection of peptides.
The key to the treatment is the insertion of T-cell auto-antigens specific regulator. The methods have been developed to reprogram differentiating T cells in native immune suppressor regulatory T cells, not T-cell pro-inflammatory effector cells, said Dr. Wanjun Chen, an NIH researcher. Once programmed, these autoantigens specific regulatory T-cells to regenerate, which is probably why the mice in the study continued to experience a remission after treatment.
It remains to be confirmed that it will be administered by the long-term remission of several peptides, Chen said.
"The efficacy and long-term and dramatic suppression of autoimmune diseases is better than expected," Chen said.
After treatment, the mice with normal immune system, bacterial antigens were suspended.
Looking to the future
What's next for this approach? The researchers say that they want to judge them, such as regulatory T cells work in animals with other autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, before clinical trials in humans.
Theoretically, the protocol could be used for other types of autoimmune diseases in mice and eventually in humans as a researcher identifies one or more autoantigens specific for the particular disease.
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"Maybe the type 1 diabetes and MS are diseases that need to be explored first," Chen said in a statement.
For now, Chen said, represents a big step toward the "holy grail" of immunology research, namely, how immune cells specifically without weakening the immune system of a patient.