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Study identifies potential new strategy to improve odds of corneal transplant acceptance
Date:12/30/2013

mmune system rejection of transplants and that disabling IFN-γ would improve the acceptance rate. But that was not necessarily the case; researchers found that when there was no MHC matching between the mice and the transplants, and IFN-γ was disabled, the transplant rejection rate was 100 percent.

"Under those conditions, IFN-γ was needed to maintain the T regulatory cells, which suppress the immune response," Dr. Niederkorn said.

Rather than recommend transplant matching and inactivation of IFN-γ for all first-time corneal transplant recipients, Dr. Niederkorn said this strategy would make most sense for those who have already rejected a cornea, or for those individuals believed to be at risk for a corneal transplant rejection. But before a clinical trial can be launched to verify the results obtained in mice, further study is needed.

"We are working to develop an IFN-γ antibody in eye-drop form," Dr. Niederkorn said. "Then we need to test whether this antibody will work in animal models."

Lead author of the study was Dr. Khrishen Cunnusamy, a former postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Niederkorn's lab and current UT Southwestern medical student.


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Contact: Debbie Bolles
debbie.bolles@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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