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New findings by St. Michael's researchers about the way cells work
Date:1/10/2012

Marsden has found that too much communication between SDF-1 and CXCR4 molecules can also impact the development of HUS in animals and humans. His team made two important discoveries, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation:
  • injecting the drug plerixafor/AMD3100 (sold under the brand name Mozobil) into mice exposed to the E. coli toxin changed their survival rate and helped improve the HUS, suggesting future therapy options for humans. The drug blocks SDF-1 action on cells that express CXCR4. The drug is used to mobilize precursor stem cells from the bone marrow in some bone marrow transplant recipients during the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
  • blood tests taken from children with E. coli showed that those who went on to develop HUS had higher levels of the protein SDF-1as much as four times higher than other children with E. coli who did not go on to develop HUS. This suggests that a blood test could be used to predict who is most likely to develop the potentially fatal HUS, meaning they could be monitored more closely.

Dr. Marsden, who is a nephrologist, said a safe water supply and clean food supply chain is the most important step in preventing HUS caused by E. coli.

"If we can measure SDF-1 levels in real time during an E. coli outbreak and confirm these findings, then we have a strong case for a trial of plerixafor/AMD3100 in patients with toxin-producing E. coli to see if it prevents or improves cases of HUS," he said.


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Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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