Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New strategy for treating allergic disorders

01.08.2007
Oral intake of allergens or auto-antigens via the lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis might be a new strategy for treating various kinds of auto-immune and allergic disorders.

VIB researchers associated with Ghent University, in collaboration with the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, have shown that auto-antigens or allergens can be administered orally via the lactic acid bacterium. Based on this principle, which has been patented by VIB, ActoGeniX - a spin-off from VIB and Ghent University - is already developing a variety of biopharmaceutical medicines for a range of clinical indications.

The immune system

Every day our immune system combats harmful substances and micro-organisms that seek to penetrate our body. However, if our immune system is not working properly, we are subject to a variety of diseases. In the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system no longer distinguishes between our body’s own substances and foreign substances and begins to attack our own tissues and organs. In other cases, the immune system responds mistakenly to harmless substances, such as the house dust mite, milk products, or pollen. This inappropriate immune system reaction to contact with such substances (allergens) is called an allergy. Today, 20% of the European population suffers from an allergy, which is twice as many sufferers compared to 15 years ago.

Lactococcus as supplier of remedies

In its natural form, the lactic acid bacterium (Lactococcus lactis) is a well-known food bacterium that has been used since time immemorial to convert milk into cheese and yoghurt. In the battle against chronic intestinal diseases, VIB researchers have been using L. lactis as a producer of a drug against gastroenteritis. The initial results of the clinical trials are promising.

Now, the bacterium is also being used to fight other disorders. There are a number of active substances for the treatment of allergies and auto-immune diseases that scientists suspect are effective in suppressing these diseases. However, it seems to be impossible to introduce these substances into the intestine in an effective manner. Pieter Rottiers and his VIB colleagues came up with the idea of calling on L. lactis once again. They introduced DNA with the code for a therapeutic protein into the bacterium’s DNA. Together with Inge L. Huibregtse, a physician at the AMC, the VIB researchers succeeded in having L. lactis produce the ovalbumin (OVA) protein.

Tested on mice

Inge L. Huibregtse (AMC) and Veerle Snoeck (VIB) evaluated the use of OVA-secreting bacteria on mice that were allergic to ovalbumin. By administering OVA-secreting bacteria, which deliver ovalbumin to the right place in the intestine, they succeeded in creating ovalbumin-tolerant mice.

Promising outlook

This research demonstrates that L. lactis can be employed to induce tolerance toward certain substances. This innovative strategy can now be developed further for the treatment of allergic and auto-immune disorders. The rising incidence of these disorders calls for more effective treatments with fewer side effects. The biopharmaceutical company ActoGeniX is playing a crucial role in the development of such new medicines. Indeed, upon its founding in 2006, ActoGeniX acquired the complete patent portfolio concerning this technology from VIB and Ghent University. ActoGeniX is now using this technology to develop a series of safe, effective medicines in a broad spectrum of disease areas.

Questions

Given that this research can raise a lot of questions, we ask you to please refer questions in your report or article to the email address that VIB makes available for this purpose: patienteninfo@vib.be. Everyone can submit questions concerning this and other medically-oriented research directly to VIB via this address.

Relevant scientific publications

This research appears in the authoritative journal Gastroenterology (Huibregtse et al., Induction of OVA-specific tolerance by oral administration of Lactococcus lactis secreting OVA, Gastroenterology, 2007).
Other informative publications that preceded this research:
Braat et al., Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 4, 754-759 (2006)
Vandenbroucke et al., Gastroenterology, 127, 502-513 (2004)
Steidler et al., Nature Biotechnology, 21, 785-789 (2003)
Funding
This research has been funded by UGent and VIB.

Ann Van Gysel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

Further reports about: ActoGeniX Gastroenterology auto-immune disorders immune system lactis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>