Holds promise for treating eye disease and cancer and for healing injuries
Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have discovered that a particular immune cell contributes to the growth of new lymph vessels, which aid in healing. This cell, known as a macrophage, is called in by the body during the wound healing process. The discovery of this new role for the macrophage, published in the September 2005 Journal of Clinical Investigation, may ultimately inspire innovative treatments for blinding eye disease, as well as for other diseases, such as cancer, that rely on the lymph vessels to spread abnormal cells throughout the body.
"This is a very significant finding," according to Joan Stein-Streilein, PhD, and Patricia A. DAmore, PhD, senior authors of the study, Senior Scientists at SERI and members of the Departments of Medicine and Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, respectively. "It unlocks a whole new dimension in our understanding of these important cells."
Patti Jacobs | EurekAlert!
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