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Virus infection supports organ acceptance
Date:6/26/2014

f Prof. Ulrike Protzer of the "Immunmonitoring Platform" at the Institute of Virology. The scientists compared the patients with each other and looked for any differences that arose in tolerant patients only.

And the scientists struck gold: a certain group of genes was very active only in the livers of tolerant patients. The genes in question belonged to the type I interferon system, which targets viruses like HCV as part of the innate immune system. As the results showed, an anti-viral mechanism does actually enable the patients to better tolerate a foreign organ.

Ulrike Protzer provides a possible explanation for this: "When the interferon system is constantly activated as is the case in some chronically-infected patients, it downregulates other immune reactions in order to protect the body. This state could act like a natural immunosuppressant and reduce the rejection of the organ."

In addition to the genes of the type I interferon system, a second factor was considered as a possible marker. This was discovered by the researchers in a previous study on liver recipients who did not have a HCV infection. Patients were very likely to be tolerant if they had a certain ratio of two different subgroups of immune cells in their blood. This ratio was also a reliable predictor of tolerance in the new study involving HCV patients.


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Contact: Vera Siegler
vera.siegler@tum.de
49-892-892-2731
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert

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