Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

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: Many molecular biology studies begin with purified DNA and RNA extracted from complex environments such as the human gut (Photo courtesy of Los Alamos [US] National Laboratory).

New Metagenomics Analysis Tool Reduces False Discovery Rates

Genomic researchers recently described a novel new tool for analyzing the complex data generated during DNA screens of mixed populations of organisms such as the human gut microbiome. DNA screening... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Wafers like the one shown here are used to create “organ-on-a-chip” devices to model human tissue (Photo courtesy of Dr. Anurag Mathur, University of California, Berkeley).

Human Heart-on-a-Chip Cultures May Replace Animal Models for Drug Development and Safety Screening

Human heart cells growing in an easily monitored silicon chip culture system may one day replace animal-based model systems for drug development and safety screening. Drug discovery and development... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image:  Model depiction of a novel cellular mechanism by which regulation of cryptochromes Cry1 and Cry2 enables coordination of a protective transcriptional response to DNA damage caused by genotoxic stress (Photo courtesy of the journal eLife, March 2015, Papp SJ, Huber AL, et al.).

Two Proteins Critical for Circadian Cycles Protect Cells from Mutations

Scientists have discovered that two proteins critical for maintaining healthy day-night cycles also have an unexpected role in DNA repair and protecting cells against genetic mutations that could lead... Read more

Business

view channel

“Softer” Mass Spec Techniques Gain Advantage in Biomarker Discovery

Two mass spectrometry (MS) technologies, MALDI and DESI, are increasing in applications as their effectiveness is established, according to Kalorama Information (New York, NY, USA) in its report “Proteomics Markets for Research and IVD Applications (Mass Spectrometry, Chromatography, Microarrays, Electrophoresis, Immunoassays,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.