Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Immunology
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Technique Selectively Represses Immune System

Published: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Technique might be used to treat multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.

Researchers devised a way to successfully treat symptoms resembling multiple sclerosis in a mouse model.

With further development, the technique might be used to treat multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease-a type of disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.

In multiple sclerosis, immune system T cells attack myelin, the insulating material that encases nerve fibers.

Resulting nerve damage in the brain and spinal cord can cause muscle weakness, loss of vision, numbness or tingling, and difficulty with coordination and balance. It can also lead to paralysis.

Current treatments for autoimmune disorders involve the use of immunosuppressant drugs. These work by tamping down immune system activity.

However, they can also leave patients susceptible to infections and increase their risk of cancer.

Drs. Stephen Miller and Lonnie Shea at Northwestern University teamed up with researchers at the University of Sydney and the Myelin Repair Foundation in California to come up with a more targeted approach.

They aimed to repress only the part of the immune system that causes autoimmune disorders while leaving the rest of the system intact.

Their new approach takes advantage of a natural safeguard used by the body to deactivate T cells that have the potential to attack the body’s healthy tissues.

Apoptotic, or dying, cells release chemicals that attract immune system cells called macrophages.

Macrophages gobble up the dying cells and deliver them to the spleen, where they present self-antigens-tiny portions of proteins from the dying cells-to a pool of T cells.

To ensure that T cells don’t attack the body’s own tissues, the macrophages initiate the repression of any T cells that bind to the self-antigens.

In previous work, Miller’s group was able to couple specific self-antigens such as myelin to apoptotic cells to tap into this natural mechanism and suppress T cells that would normally attack the body’s own tissue. However, using apoptotic cells as a vehicle proved to be a costly, difficult and time-consuming procedure.

In the new study, the team linked myelin antigens to microscopic, biodegradable particles in the hope that these would be similarly taken up by circulating macrophages.

Their work was partly supported by NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The study appeared online on November 18, 2012, in Nature Biotechnology.

The myelin-bound particles proved to be just as good as apoptotic cells, if not better, at inducing T-cell tolerance in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. The particles both prevented symptoms and slowed their progression when injected at first detection of disease symptoms.

The team is hoping to begin phase I clinical trials in the near future. The material that makes up the particles has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other uses.

The researchers are also exploring the approach to treat other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and food allergies.

“I think we've come up with a very potent way to induce tolerance that can be easily translated into clinical practice,” Miller says. “We’re doing everything we can now to take this forward.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

NIH Investment Into HIV Research Expands
Funding has been awarded to six research teams to lead collaborative investigations worldwide toward an HIV cure.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Drug Might Help Treat Sepsis
A DNA enzyme called Top1 plays a key role in turning on genes that cause inflammation in mouse and human cells in response to pathogens. A drug blocking this enzyme rescued mice from lethal inflammatory responses, suggesting a potential treatment for sepsis.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Large-scale HIV Vaccine Trial to Launch in South Africa
NIH-funded study will test safety, efficacy of vaccine regimen.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
New HIV Vaccine Target Discovered
NIH-Led team have discovered a new vaccine target site on HIV.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Finding Factors That Protect Against Flu
A clinical trial examining the body’s response to seasonal flu suggests new approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Factors Influencing Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Uncovered
The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Study Finds Factors That May Influence Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Submissions Open for the Cancer Moonshot Program
NCI opens online platform to submit ideas about research for Cancer Moonshot.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
NIH Awards Grants to Explore Vaccine Adjuvants
NIH awards six grants to explore how combination adjuvants improve vaccines.
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Experimental Vaccine Protects Against Dengue Virus
An experimental dengue vaccine protected all the volunteers who received it from infection with a live dengue virus.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Experimental Ebola Antibody Protects Monkeys
Antibody isolated from Ebola survivor can advance to clinical trials.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Dengue Vaccine Enters Phase 3 Trial
Investigational vaccine to prevent ‘breakbone fever’ developed at NIH.
Friday, January 15, 2016
In Uveitis, Bacteria in Gut May Instruct Immune Cells to Attack the Eye
NIH scientists propose novel mechanism to explain autoimmune uveitis.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Novel Mechanism to Explain Autoimmune Uveitis Proposed
A new study on mice suggests that bacteria in the gut may provide a kind of training ground for immune cells to attack the eye.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
HIV Control Through Treatment Durably Prevents Heterosexual Transmission of Virus
NIH-funded trial proves suppressive antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people effective in protecting uninfected partners.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Scientific News
Gut Bacteria Older than Human Species
Some bacteria have lived in the human gut since before we were human, suggesting evolution could have a larger role inhuman bacterial makeup.
Evidence of Mosquito Transmitting Zika
A direct link between the Yellow fever mosquito and Zika transmission has been found following investigation into selective mosquito control.
Antibody-Based Drug for Multiple Sclerosis
New antibody-based drug paves the way for new strategies for controlling and treating multiple sclerosis.
Three-Drug Combinations Counter Antibiotic Resistance
Research shows that combinations of three different antibiotics can treat resistant bacteria, even if they are ineffective independently.
Mapping Zika’s Routes to Developing Fetus
UC researchers show how Zika virus travels from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and also identified a drug that could stop it.
Treating HIV with Cancer-Fighting Gene Shows Promise
A type of gene immunotherapy that has shown promising results against cancer could also be used against HIV.
Protein Teams Activate T-Cells
Caltech researchers have discovered T-cell genetic switching is controlled by four proteins acting in a multi-tiered fashion.
'Antigen-Presenting Cell' Defends Against Cancer
Through advanced imaging, researchers have identified cells that encourages increases in immune system cancer defences.
Zika Epidemic Likely to End Within Three Years
A team of scientists has predicted that the current Zika epidemic is likely to end within three years because there will be too few people left to infect.
Go-Between Immune Cell is Key to Priming the Body’s Fight Against Cancer
‘Antigen-presenting cell’ activates T cells by alerting them to the presence of tumors.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!