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Nanoparticulate Treatment of Autoimmunities November 18, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science, Star Trek Technology.
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Scientists at Northwestern Medical have successfully reversed a mouse model of MS using 500nm particle of “antigen-decorated” polystyrene and poly[ed; some polymer of](lactide-co-glycolide) to induce toleration of the antigen, thus modulating the T-cell response to apoptosis.  Big news, and even potentially bigger, since this antigen decoration business can be modified to include antigens indicated in other conditions such as diabetes or asthma.

This treatment does not suppress the entire immune system as do current therapies for MS, making patients more susceptible to everyday infections and higher rates of cancer. Instead, when the “antigen-decorated” polystyrene particles are attached to myelin antigens and injected into the mice, the immune system is reset to normal. The immune system stops recognizing myelin as an alien invader and halts its attack on it. This happened when the particles entered the spleen, which filters the blood and helps the body dispose of aging and dying blood cells. There, the particles were engulfed by macrophages, a type of immune cell, which then displayed the antigens on their cell surface. The immune system viewed the particles as ordinary dying blood cells and nothing to be concerned about. This created immune tolerance to the antigen by directly inhibiting the activity of myelin responsive T cells and by increasing the numbers of regulatory T cells which further calmed the autoimmune response.

Microparticles bearing encephalitogenic peptides induce T-cell tolerance and ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, Nature Biotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nbt.2434

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