Transplant Protocol Induces Immune Cells to Switch Sides
Dec 7, 2011 - 2:41:09 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - ATLANTA -- Transplant surgeons want to convince a transplant recipient’s immune cells to “switch sides”: convert cells that would normally recognize and attack the transplanted organ to cells that control the immune response instead.
This could mean a better chance of avoiding rejection of the transplanted organ, and may help the recipient wean off anti-rejection drugs over time, reducing the rate of long-term complications.
Now Emory Transplant Center researchers have shown that an experimental combination of treatments can induce turncoat behavior among immune cells in mice with skin grafts. The combination involves transfusion of spleen cells from the donor, as well as a limited course of a drug that blocks immune cell signals.
The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
The senior author is Mandy Ford, PhD, assistant professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. First author Ivana Ferrer is a student in Emory’s Immunology & Molecular Pathogenesis graduate program.
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