Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

New Method Devised for Treating Autoimmune Disease

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 14 Jun 2012
Australian researchers have devised a new method that may regulate the body’s natural immune response, providing hope of a straightforward and effective treatment for autoimmune diseases.

The new approach involves increasing good regulating cells in the body, dissimilar to most current research which focuses on stopping “bad” (effector) cells, according to lead researcher Dr. Suzanne Hodgkinson, from University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) Faculty of Medicine (Sydney, Australia) and Liverpool Hospital.

The researchers triggered the body’s T-cell front-line defenses by injecting cell-signaling proteins called cytokines, in particular, cytokine interleukin-5 (II-5 cytokine). When T-regulatory cells are cultured in a way to make them specific to a particular protein, they develop receptors for the Il-5 cytokine. The Il-5 cytokine boost allows the body’s immune system to better regulate its response to disease without going into overdrive.

The team cloned II-5 cytokine and injected it into rats with the neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome. These rats recovered much faster, and if treated as a preventative, did not fall ill. The method has also shown potential in animals with multiple sclerosis, with kidney disease nephritis and trying to overcome organ transplantation rejection. “One of the nice things about this discovery is that it is one of the few treatments in the autoimmune world and in the transplantation world that works not by attacking the effector cells, but by increasing the good regulating cells. So it works in a very different way from almost every other treatment we've got available,” Dr. Hodgkinson said.

Il-5 injections could be more appetizing than inoculation by parasitic worms--another approach in regulating autoimmune disorders, according to the scientists. International research revealed that swallowing helminths parasites could regulate the immune system and increase T-cell production to fight disorders such as celiac disease and multiple sclerosis. The lack of the worms in guts in the developed world has been cited as a possible cause for the severe rise in autoimmune diseases in Western countries.

“The process we’ve developed may be the same process that the helminths kick off. When you get a helminths infestation, one of the changes in your immune response is an increase in cells called eosinophils and these cells make the cytokine interleukin-5,’ remarked Dr. Hodgkinson. “In this new treatment, it’s a matter of injecting the interleukin-5 and the body does the rest. It’s both safe and effective and we think inducing the immune response by injection may be more attractive to people than swallowing parasitic worms.”

The next phase of the research is to take the treatment to human trials, which could be undertaken within two to five years, Dr. Hodgkinson reported, whose study’s findings have has been published June 3, 2012, in the journal Blood.

Related Links:
University of New South Wales



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The TheraCyte cell encapsulation device (Photo courtesy of TheraCyte, Inc.).

Encapsulated Human-Insulin-Producing Progenitor Cells Cure Diabetes in Mouse Model

A breakthrough system that allows subcutaneous implantation of encapsulated immature pancreatic cells (beta progenitor cells) was shown to produce enough insulin to correct the symptoms of diabetes in a mouse model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.