Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Pittsburgh Researchers Identify Subtype Of Cell That Promotes Organ Transplant Acceptance

Date:
May 22, 2001
Source:
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
In one of the few studies of its kind, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute have found that a subtype of dendritic cell plays a key role in preventing organ rejection and may be associated with transplant tolerance, the long-term survival of a transplanted organ without the need for immunosuppressant drugs.

CHICAGO, May 15 -- In one of the few studies of its kind, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute have found that a subtype of dendritic cell plays a key role in preventing organ rejection and may be associated with transplant tolerance, the long-term survival of a transplanted organ without the need for immunosuppressant drugs.

Researchers will now be looking to see if the same cells are present in liver and kidney transplant recipients who have been successfully weaned off immunosuppression, patients who are essentially tolerant of their organs.

The findings are significant because dendritic cells, a rare type of white blood cell that is present in all tissues, have been thought only to be involved in prompting the rejection process, reported Peta J. O'Connell, Ph.D., at Transplant 2001, the joint meeting of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Dendritic cells are known for their ability to identify and present antigens, or foreign substances, to other immune system cells that are programmed to destroy the antigen. But according to Dr. O'Connell, some dendritic cells apparently regulate the immune response, determining that a frontline attack by T cells can be unwarranted.

Dr. O'Connell, a visiting research instructor working with Angus W. Thomson, Ph.D., D.Sc., reported that a pre-transplant infusion of lymphoid dendritic cell subtypes derived from tissue such as the spleen, allowed for prolonged survival in a mouse heart transplant model, even without the use of drugs to control rejection. In contrast, myeloid dendritic cells accelerated the rejection response.

"The lymphoid-derived dendritic cells somehow disarm immune system T cells from doing their part to attack the donor organ possibly by causing either their death or limiting their proliferation," explained Dr. O'Connell, who received an AST Young Investigator's Award for her work.

Based on these studies, the researchers plan to see if these "good" dendritic cells are present in liver and kidney transplant recipients who are off all immunosuppression as part of a larger effort to identify laboratory profiles and tests consistent with tolerance.

Through the Immune Tolerance Network, an ambitious undertaking supported by the National Institutes of Health and Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, Dr. Thomson and Adriana Zeevi, Ph.D., are leading this unique study to better understand the specific immunological process that occurs in transplant patients who are off all drugs. Specifically, Drs. Thomson and Zeevi are looking at the role of dendritic cells in tolerance as well as key regulatory proteins within the immune system, where small changes in the code may reveal a patient's potential for rejection.

"This will provide a 'roadmap' for clinicians, to help identify those for whom immunosuppression can be safely withdrawn," said Dr. Thomson, professor of surgery and molecular genetics and biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute.

"We'd like to identify the cellular and molecular clues so that assays, or very simple laboratory tests, can be developed that would be predictive of tolerance," added Dr. Zeevi, professor of pathology and surgery at Pitt's School of Medicine and the Starzl Transplant Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "University Of Pittsburgh Researchers Identify Subtype Of Cell That Promotes Organ Transplant Acceptance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518081355.htm>.
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2001, May 22). University Of Pittsburgh Researchers Identify Subtype Of Cell That Promotes Organ Transplant Acceptance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518081355.htm
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "University Of Pittsburgh Researchers Identify Subtype Of Cell That Promotes Organ Transplant Acceptance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518081355.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins