Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Find An Antibody That Destroys The Blood's Platelets; Discovery May Lead To New Therapies For Certain Blood Disorders

Date:
September 10, 2001
Source:
New York University Medical Center And School Of Medicine
Summary:
New York University School of Medicine researchers have found, for the first time, an antibody that destroys an essential component of the blood called platelets. The novel finding may open new therapeutic avenues to treating a blood platelet disorder associated with HIV infection, and other types of vascular disease, including blood clots in arteries.

New York University School of Medicine researchers have found, for the first time, an antibody that destroys an essential component of the blood called platelets. The novel finding may open new therapeutic avenues to treating a blood platelet disorder associated with HIV infection, and other types of vascular disease, including blood clots in arteries.

Platelets, blood cells that look like oval plates, are needed for the blood to clot. When a blood vessel breaks, the platelets usually rush to the scene of the injury to begin the process of filling in the damaged area and providing a surface for coagulation factors. When the platelet count is low, a medical condition called thrombocytopenia, the blood cannot clot properly and bleeding can occur. People with this condition may bruise easily. There also is a risk of life-threatening bleeding into the brain even though no injury has occurred.

Thrombocytopenia is associated with a number of diseases and can also be caused by some drugs. People with early HIV infection often develop a form of the condition called immunologic thrombocytopenia, which appears to be caused by antibodies that attack platelets. Other types of thrombocytopenia are not caused by antibodies, although the cause of some forms remains unknown.

In a new study, Simon Karpatkin, M.D., Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and his colleagues prove that an antibody that binds to a specific protein on the surface of platelets causes platelets to self-destruct. Moreover, they show that the antibody carries out its mission by triggering a particular biochemical pathway in the platelets.

The new study is published in the September 7 issue of the journal Cell. It is the first report of an antibody, by itself, destroying a platelet, and the first description of an antibody triggering a reactive-oxygen biochemical pathway to destroy a cell, says Dr. Karpatkin.

"This was an unexpected finding because antibodies had never been shown to act in this fashion," says Dr. Karpatkin. "We believe that this discovery could be of use in the clinic. It is conceivable that this antibody could be used to dissolve clots in the arteries, which can cause myocardial infarction, stroke, and other conditions."

Activation of serum proteins called complement by antibody-antigen complexes is a major pathway for the immune system to get rid of foreign invaders. Antibodies are the immune system's sentinels. They usually alert the body to a foreign invader by binding to it and forming a complex, which recruits complement.

The new report now describes another pathway that is used by antibodies to destroy cells in the absence of complement. This pathway generates highly unstable hydrogen peroxide (a water molecule with extra oxygen attached), which blows apart the platelet. Such a pathway is used by white blood cells to destroy foreign invaders like bacteria, but no one had expected that antibodies would use this same pathway. In the study, the NYU School of Medicine researchers injected the antibody into mice that lacked the complement system, and showed that the antibody still destroyed platelets.

Dr. Karpatkin's group has developed compounds that can block or inhibit the new antibody, which could potentially prevent the destruction of platelets in patients with HIV. The group is also devising monoclonal antibodies that could be used clinically to destroy platelets. Such a therapy might be useful in breaking up blood clots in arteries that contain an abundance of platelets.

In addition to Dr. Karpatkin, the authors of the study are Michael Nardi, Stephen Tomlinson, and M. Alba Greco. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Dorothy and Seymour Weinstein Platelet Research Fund and the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

New York University Medical Center And School Of Medicine. "Researchers Find An Antibody That Destroys The Blood's Platelets; Discovery May Lead To New Therapies For Certain Blood Disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010907080706.htm>.
New York University Medical Center And School Of Medicine. (2001, September 10). Researchers Find An Antibody That Destroys The Blood's Platelets; Discovery May Lead To New Therapies For Certain Blood Disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010907080706.htm
New York University Medical Center And School Of Medicine. "Researchers Find An Antibody That Destroys The Blood's Platelets; Discovery May Lead To New Therapies For Certain Blood Disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010907080706.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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