Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural enzyme provides potential new approach for treating graft-vs.-host disease

Date:
January 17, 2012
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A natural enzyme derived from human blood plasma showed potential in significantly reducing the effects of graft-vs.-host disease, a common and deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplants.

A natural enzyme derived from human blood plasma showed potential in significantly reducing the effects of graft-vs.-host disease, a common and deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplants.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at the drug alpha-1-antitrypsin, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in people who have a genetic mutation that makes them deficient in a certain enzyme. This drug has been used in many of these patients over extended periods of time and is known to cause minimal side effects.

More important, there are no known reports of increased susceptibility to infections. This is key for people with graft-vs.-host disease, where existing treatment options tend to suppress the immune system, putting patients at risk of infection. Graft-vs.-host disease is a major complication of bone marrow transplants using marrow from a donor, called an allogeneic transplant. This often-deadly side effect is what makes the procedure so risky.

"If we can get graft-vs.-host disease under control, we can more effectively use allogeneic bone marrow transplant to treat people with leukemia and lymphoma as well as other blood disorders. It would be a curative therapy for people who otherwise have no hope," says senior study author Pavan Reddy, M.D., associate professor of hematology/oncology at the U-M Medical School.

In this study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers used alpha-1-antitrypsin in mice that received allogeneic bone marrow transplants. The drug significantly reduced mortality from graft-vs.-host disease, compared to control mice who did not receive the drug.

In addition, alpha-1-antitrypsin reduced the number of inflammatory cells called T Effector cells that are known to be present in graft-vs.-host disease. It also increased the number of T-regulatory cells, which immunologists believe play a positive role in immune responses.

"It's likely the balance between the T-regulatory cells and the T Effector cells that leads to graft-vs.-host disease. Alpha-1-antitrypsin appears to have tipped that balance favorably," says lead study author Isao Tawara, M.D., Ph.D., a research investigator at the U-M Medical School.

The U-M researchers collaborated on this work with researchers from the University of Colorado and from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. The researchers are beginning to discuss a possible clinical trial using alpha-1-antitrypsin in post-transplant patients with graft-vs.-host disease for whom conventional therapies are no longer working.

Additional authors include Yaping Sun, Tomomi Toubai, Rebecca Evers and Evelyn Nieves, all from U-M; Eli C. Lewis, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel; Tania Azam and Charles A. Dinarello, from the University of Colorado.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. Tawara, Y. Sun, E. C. Lewis, T. Toubai, R. Evers, E. Nieves, T. Azam, C. A. Dinarello, P. Reddy. Alpha-1-antitrypsin monotherapy reduces graft-versus-host disease after experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; 109 (2): 564 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1117665109

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Natural enzyme provides potential new approach for treating graft-vs.-host disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117144224.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2012, January 17). Natural enzyme provides potential new approach for treating graft-vs.-host disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117144224.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Natural enzyme provides potential new approach for treating graft-vs.-host disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120117144224.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. 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