Tricking the body’s immune system into ignoring stem cells will be the key to successful stem cell transplants, according to Professor Maggie Dallman, Imperial College London, speaking today at the BA Festival of Science.
Professor Dallman is investigating how to trick the body into producing regulatory cells, which prevent the body’s immune system from attacking its own molecules, at the site of a stem cell transplant. If they were present when stem cells were introduced into the body, the regulatory cells would inhibit the body’s natural response to ‘foreign’ cells, meaning the stem cells would be accepted.
Drug therapies can prevent traditional organ grafts from being destroyed in the short term but organ transplants typically fail after a number of years as the body’s immune system rejects the new tissue. Scientists are hopeful that harnessing regulatory cells would prevent stem cell transplants from facing similar rejection.
Laura Gallagher | alfa
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