Towards improved immunotherapy

December 1, 2008

A study published by Elsevier this month in Clinical Immunology, the official journal of the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS), describes a new method that facilitates the induction of a specific type of immune suppressive cells, called 'regulatory T cells' for therapeutic use. These immune suppressive cells show great potential for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and improving transplantation outcomes.

Immunotherapy refers to a collection of treatments based upon the concept of modulating the immune system to achieve a prophylactic and/or therapeutic goal. For example, inducing immune suppression could dampen an abnormal immune response in autoimmune diseases or could reduce a normal immune response to prevent rejection of transplanted organs or cells. Regulatory T cells are an important part of the immune system and can play a suppressive role, but naturally occur in low numbers.

Michael Albert and colleagues from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, describe a unique strategy that facilitates the induction of regulatory T cells ex vivo with subsequent expansion to numbers adequate for immunotherapy. Using an inexpensive, fast and simple high-yield method they generated regulatory T cells from small amounts of peripheral blood which, potentially, could be transferred back into a patient enabling a clinically desired immune suppression.

"Feasible protocols to provide large amounts of regulatory T cells are in great demand", said Andy Saxon", the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology (www.elsevier.com/locate/yclim>), "this article describes a relative simple but exciting method which can be used in clinical settings such as transplantation".

Citation: M.H. Albert, X-Z. Yu, T. Magg, Ethylenecarbodiimide-coupled allogeneic antigen presenting cells induce human CD4+ regulatory T cells, 2008 Clinical Immunology, 129(3): 381-393. (doi:10.1016/j.clim.2008.07.027)

Source: Elsevier

Explore further: Cell therapy approach could lead to novel treatments for asthma

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How math could make bones stronger

March 29, 2017

They may seem rigid and set in their ways, but your bones are actually under constant construction and deconstruction. They give up their nutrient treasures (calcium) to the body and then rebuild in a constant give-and-take ...

Sick stem cells point to better MS drugs

March 29, 2017

Doctors seeking a cure for an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis keep chasing a mirage: no matter how well a drug works in the lab, it never seems to help many patients in the clinic. But after closely examining stem cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.