Blood stem cell transplants are an important part of treatment for a variety of serious conditions. However, adverse reactions of the host to donor cells present a significant risk. Now, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have pinpointed cell level behavior that could be used to help the host fight back, their findings are published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

A significant proportion of patients who receive blood stem cells develop acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), which is a fatal immune disorder in which the white blood cells of the stem cell donor attack the organs of the recipient. This attack leads to damage to the skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tract.

One of the types of skin cell that is attacked is Langerhans cells (LCs). LCs are known to negatively or positively regulate various types of immune responses — that is, to induce, or prevent them. However, these antigen-presenting cells are known to be killed by T cells in the early phase of aGVHD. Therefore, working out their roles in the disease is difficult.

The researchers carried out two experiments using mice with mucocutaneous aGVHD lesions to assess different aspects of the roles played by LCs.

“We investigated mice with normal and depleted amounts of LCs and found that when LCs were depleted at the outset, the lesions became more severe,” study corresponding author Professor Naoko Okiyama explains. “In another experiment we found that the exacerbated disease resulted from a lack of death of OT-I cells that infiltrate the skin.”

It was also found that the ability of LCs to cause the programmed death of OT-I cells and stop them from multiplying is partly the result of their expression of proteins in the B7 family.

“Having determined the proteins that contribute to LCs inducing the death of OT-I cells, we can explore the possibility that enhancing the expression of B7 proteins on LCs could provide an opportunity to prevent aGVHD development,” says Professor Okiyama. “This could significantly improve treatments and have a positive effect on patient quality of life.”

It is hoped that future work to enhance the expression of specific proteins on LCs will lead to more successful blood stem cell transplants.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Tsukuba. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Source link

Recent Comments
    About Exponent

    Exponent is a modern business theme, that lets you build stunning high performance websites using a fully visual interface. Start with any of the demos below or build one on your own.

    Get Started
    Privacy Settings
    We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
    Consent to display content from Youtube
    Consent to display content from Vimeo
    Google Maps
    Consent to display content from Google
    Consent to display content from Spotify
    Sound Cloud
    Consent to display content from Sound
    Cart Overview