Navigation Links
Autoimmune disease retraining white blood cells
Date:12/17/2012

How can the immune system be reprogrammed once it goes on the attack against its own body? EPFL scientists retrained T-cells involved in type I diabetes, a common autoimmune disease. Using a modified protein, they precisely targeted the white blood cells (T-lymphocytes, or T-cells) that were attacking pancreatic cells and causing the disease. When tested on laboratory mice, the therapy eliminated all signs of the pathology. This same method could be a very promising avenue for treating multiple sclerosis as well. The scientists have just launched a start-up company, Anokion SA, on the Lausanne campus, and are planning to conduct clinical trials within the next two years. Their discovery has been published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science).

To retrain the rebellious white blood cells, the researchers began with a relatively simple observation: every day, thousands of our cells die. Each time a cell bites the dust, it sends out a message to the immune system. If the death is caused by trauma, such as an inflammation, the message tends to stimulate white blood cells to become aggressive. But if the cell dies a programmed death at the end of its natural life cycle, it sends out a soothing signal.

In the human body there is a type of cell that dies off en masse, on the order of 200 billion per day red blood cells. Each of these programmed deaths sends a soothing message to the immune system. The scientists took advantage of this situation, and attached the pancreatic protein targeted by T-cells in type I diabetes to red blood cells.

"Our idea was that by associating the protein under attack to a soothing event, like the programmed death of red blood cells, we would reduce the intensity of the immune response," explains Jeffrey Hubbell, co-author of the study. To do this, the researchers had to do some clever bioengineering and equip the protein with a tiny, molecular scale hook, that is able to attach itself to a red blood cell. Billions of these were manufactured and then simply injected into the body.

Complete eradication of diabetes symptoms

As these billions of red blood cells died their programmed death, they released two signals: the artificially attached pancreatic protein, and the soothing signal. The association of these two elements, like Pavlov's dog, who associates the ringing of a bell with a good or bad outcome, essentially retrained the T lymphocytes to stop attacking the pancreatic cells. "It was a total success. We were able to eliminate the immune response in type I diabetes in mice," explains Hubbell.

Minimizing risks and side effects

Co-author Stephan Kontos adds that the great advantage of this approach is its extreme precision. "Our method carries very little risk and shouldn't introduce significant side effects, in the sense that we are not targeting the entire immune system, but just the specific kind of T-cells involved in the disease."

The scientists are planning to conduct clinical trials in 2014, at the earliest. To demonstrate the potential of their method, they plan to first test applications that would counteract the immune response to a drug known for its effectiveness against gout. "We chose to begin with this application before we tackled diabetes or multiple sclerosis, since we knew and were in control of all the parameters," explains Hubbell.

Currently, the researchers are also testing the potential of this method in treating multiple sclerosis. In this disease, T-cells destroy myelin cells, which form a protective sheath around nerve fibers. They are also studying the potential of their method with another kind of white blood cell, B-lymphocytes, that are involved in many other autoimmune diseases.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lionel Pousaz
lionel.pousaz@epfl.ch
41-795-597-161
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. AllCells Introduces Autoimmune Diseased Cells and Tissue Products
2. Genalyte Launches Maverick ENA Kits For Fast, Easy And Accurate Multiplexed Autoimmune Testing
3. Doctors Without Borders and DNDi: Millions of Patients Still Waiting for Medical “Breakthroughs” Against Neglected Diseases
4. RiboMed Receives Three Additional Patents for Disease Diagnostics Methods
5. Adaptive Biotechnologies launches clonoSEQ, a more sensitive, accurate assay to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) in blood-based cancers.
6. NKT Therapeutics Presents Data on Potential Antibody Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease
7. RiboMed Receives Three Additional Patents for Disease Diagnostics Methods
8. Leuven research opens new pathway for the treatment of Alzheimers disease
9. Brain inflammation likely key initiator to prion and Parkinsons disease
10. Amarantus BioSciences Announces Positive Data for MANF in Delivery Diffusion Animal Model of Parkinsons Disease
11. OneMedPlace Releases Update to Research Report on Amarantus Biosciences Focused on New Positive Ischemic Heart Disease Efficacy Data for MANF in Animals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., a ... Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. Nicolas ... practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in diagnostic ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased ... of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are ... - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled a ... new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new markets ... It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, ... his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells ... and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ... of online age and identity verification solutions, announced today ... Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, ... Building and International Trade Center. Identity ... globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):