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Immune system pathway identified to fight allergens, asthma
Date:5/7/2008

not know was how the dendritic cell does what it does, said Dr. Prabir Ray. Therapy directed against c-Kit specifically on dendritic cells using compounds coupled to c-Kit inhibitors such as Gleevec, a drug that is already FDA-approved and used in cancer treatment, may alleviate allergic diseases and, potentially, inflammatory bowel disease.

The Pittsburgh team incubated dendritic cells with cholera toxin and house dust mite allergens, finding that both substances induced significant secretion of c-Kit and IL-6, initial steps in a cascade resulting in the activation of T helper cells.

Dual upregulation of c-Kit and stem cell factor has been noted in some cancers, such as small cell lung cancer. IL-6 has been associated with cancers such as multiple myeloma, said Dr. Anuradha Ray. Collectively, similar approaches to inhibit c-Kit, in addition to Gleevec or other inhibiting compounds could alleviate multiple cancers.


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Contact: Michele Baum
BaumMD@upmc.edu
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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