Navigation Links
Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach to treating autoimmune disease

In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against the body's own tissues and organs, wreaking havoc and destruction for no apparent reason. Partly because the origins of these diseases are so obscure, no effective treatment exists, and the suffering they inflict is enormous. Now Weizmann Institute scientists have developed a method that in the future may make it possible to treat autoimmune diseases effectively without necessarily knowing their exact cause. Their approach is equivalent to sending a police force to suppress a riot without seeking out the individuals who instigated the unrest.

In healthy people, a small but crucial group of immune cells called regulatory T cells, or T-regs, keeps autoimmunity in check, but in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), one of the most common autoimmune disorders, too few of these cells appear in the diseased intestine, and the ones that do fail to function properly. The new Weizmann Institute approach consists of delivering highly selective, genetically engineered functioning T-regs to the intestine. The study was conducted by Dr. Eran Elinav, a physician from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center's gastroenterology institute who is working toward his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute, and lab assistant Tova Waks, in the laboratory of Prof. Zelig Eshhar of the Immunology Department.

Relying on Eshhar's earlier work in which he equipped a different type of T cell to zero in on cancerous tumors, the team genetically engineered T-regs, outfitting these cells with a modular receptor consisting of three units. One of these units directed the cells to the intestine while the other two made sure they became duly activated. As reported in the journal Gastroenterology, the approach proved effective in laboratory mice with a disease that simulates human IBD: Most of the mice treated with the genetically-engineered T-regs developed only mild inflammation or no inflammation at all.

The cells produced what the scientists called a 'bystander' effect: They were directed to the diseased tissue using neighboring, or 'bystander' markers that identified the area as a site of inflammation, and suppressed the inflammatory cells in the vicinity by secreting soluble suppressive substances.

The scientists are currently experimenting with human T-regs for curing ulcerative colitis and believe that in addition to IBD, their 'bystander' approach could work in other autoimmune disorders, even if their causes remain unknown. They also think the method could be valuable in suppressing unwanted inflammation in diseases unrelated to autoimmunity, as well as in preventing graft rejection and certain complications in bone marrow and organ transplantation, in which inflammation is believed to play a major role.


Contact: Yivsam Azgad
Weizmann Institute of Science

Related medicine news :

1. Weizmann Institute scientists produce the first smell map
2. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers find novel chemo drug helps treat prostate cancer
3. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers find many stomach cancer patients are not gertting best therapy
4. ECRI Institute Issues Priority Alert About Two Infusion Pumps
5. MedAssurants Dr. Keith Dunleavy to Present at AHIPs Institute 2008
6. Population Health Impact Institute Releases Methods Evaluation Process(TM) (MEP(TM)) Accreditation Standards for Public Comment Period
7. Worcester Polytechnic Institute announces 2008 Chairmans Exemplary Faculty Prize winners
8. Population Health Impact Institute to Host First Methods Evaluation Process(TM) (MEP(TM)) Workshop at Annual CMSA Conference
9. Presidential Candidates Health Care Plans Lack Key Reform Elements, Aspen Institute Finds
10. Institute for Integrative Nutrition Begins Road Tour
11. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers pinpoint how smoking causes cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... (PRWEB) October 13, ... hold its 2015 annual meeting and corresponding events Oct. 29-31 ... informational seminars; a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Air Force Gen. ... and the Community Heroes Award Night, which recognizes individuals and ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... The American Institutes for Research ( AIR ) developed ... students who have experienced sexual assault and other trauma. The toolkit, funded by the ... Violence Against Women Act's 21st anniversary. , AIR developed the Safe ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... "My friend's ... his fists into his infected cheeks," said an inventor from Platteville, Colo. "I came ... skin problems." , He developed the UNTOUCHABLE to prevent a child from rubbing or ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... that women who successfully lose weight with a bariatric procedure are much less likely ... The article notes that anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of all endometrial cancer ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... IBM software products, introduced a new company, RightSensorâ„¢ LLC, an Internet of Things ... capability. RightSensorâ„¢ provides a fully-managed approach for customers requiring sensor hardware for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... DALLAS , Oct. 13, 2015   Generational ... privately-held, middle-market businesses, is pleased to announce the acquisition ... headquartered in Largo, Florida , by ... closed on September 11, 2015. ... . --> Florida . To ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015 According to the ... sponsored by Cardinal Health , achieving both ... diversified pharmacy revenue streams are vital to the ... NCPA Digest affirms that independent community ... in underserved inner city and rural areas," said ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- Data Science Automation (DSA), a system integration and automation engineering ... in the United Kingdom (UK) as ... . The decision to open the new office comes ... customers in the medical device industry throughout the UK. ... have had tremendous success over the last several years in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: