Home Organ Transplant Tackling T Cells: A Path to Hope

Tackling T Cells: A Path to Hope

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Nancy Fleisler writing for Harvard Medical School reports on Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital studies focused on T cells are a path toward reducing organ transplant rejection and treating autoimmune diseases. There are two kinds of T cells including 1) T helper cells and 2) T regulatory cells.  T helper cells help people tolerate organ transplants better while T regulatory suppress or downregulate them.  Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital studies included:

  1. Study showed that bolstering populations of T regulatory cells might help people tolerate organ transplants better
  2. Study showed that an imbalance of T helper cells causes an exaggerated immune response that may contribute to transplant rejection.In addition to pinpointing an imbalance of T helper cells, the second study suggested, in mice and in human cells in a dish, that the imbalance can be reversed pharmacologically.

The hope is that someday these insights may lead to lowering the number of organ recipients who lose their transplants despite taking drugs to suppress their inflammatory immune response.

Research/Investigative Site

Harvard Medical School

Boston Children’s Hospital

Lead Research/Investigator

David Briscoe, HMS associate professor of pediatrics and director of the transplant research program at Boston Children’s.

Paula Fiorina, HMS lecturer pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital

View article here

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