Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ 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 Funds Biobank To Support Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program
$142 million over five years will be awarded to the Mayo Clinic to establish the world’s largest research-cohort biobank for the PMI Cohort Program
Friday, May 27, 2016
Advancing Protein Visualization
Cryo-EM methods can determine structures of small proteins bound to potential drug candidates.
Friday, May 27, 2016
New NIH-EPA Research Centers to Study Environmental Health Disparities
Scientists will partner with community organizations to study these concerns and develop culturally appropriate ways to reduce exposure to harmful environmental conditions.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Nanoparticles Target, Transform Fat Tissue
Nanoparticles designed to target white fat and convert it to calorie-burning brown fat slowed weight gain in obese mice without affecting food intake. This proof-of-concept work could lead to new therapies to treat obesity.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Visual Impairment, Blindness Cases in U.S. Expected to Double by 2050
Researchers at NIH have suggested that there is a need for increased screening and interventions to identify and address treatable causes of vision loss.
Friday, May 20, 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
NIH Funds New Studies on Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of Genomic Information
Four new grants from the National Institutes of Health will support research on the ethical, legal and social questions raised by advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information.
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
Researchers Identify Genetic Links to Educational Attainment
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the large genetics analyses may be able to help discover biological pathways as well.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Investigational Malaria Vaccine Protects Healthy U.S. Adults
Researchers at NIH have found that the malaria vaccine protected a small number of healthy, malaria-naïve adults in the U.S. from infection for more than one year after immunization.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Ketamine Metabolism Lifts Depression
NIH-funded team finds rapid-acting, non-addicting agent in mouse study.
Thursday, May 05, 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
Scientific News
The Rise of 3D Cell Culture and in vitro Model Systems for Drug Discovery and Toxicology
An overview of the current technology and the challenges and benefits over 2D cell culture models plus some of the latest advances relating to human health research.
Grant Supports Project To Develop Simple Test To Screen For Cervical Cancer
UCLA Engineering announces funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Injecting New Life into Old Antibiotics
A new fully synthetic way to make a class of antibiotics called macrolides from simple building blocks is set to open up a new front in the fight against antimicrobial drug resistance.
Insight into Bacterial Resilience and Antibiotic Targets
Variant of CRISPR technology paired with computerized imaging reveals essential gene networks in bacteria.
Advancing Protein Visualization
Cryo-EM methods can determine structures of small proteins bound to potential drug candidates.
Alzheimer’s Protein Serves as Natural Antibiotic
Alzheimer's-associated amyloid plaques may be part of natural process to trap microbes, findings suggest new therapeutic strategies.
Slime Mold Reveals Clues to Immune Cells’ Directional Abilities
Study from UC San Diego identifies a protein involved in the directional ability of a slime mold.
How Do You Kill A Malaria Parasite?
Drexel University scientists have discovered an unusual mechanism for how two new antimalarial drugs operate: They give the parasite’s skin a boost in cholesterol, making it unable to traverse the narrow labyrinths of the human bloodstream. The drugs also seem to trick the parasite into reproducing prematurely.
Illuminating Hidden Gene Regulators
New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters.
Supressing Intenstinal Analphylaxis in Peanut Allergy
Study from National Jewish Health shows that blockade of histamine receptors suppresses intestinal anaphylaxis in peanut allergy.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!