Archive for August, 2017

Programming T-Cells of the Immune System

Diseases which affect the functioning of the immune system are called autoimmune diseases. They tend to be responsible for the T cells working in an over active manner or suppressing their actions. By creating an imbalance in the immune system cells, the disease causes symptoms to ravage the human body.

Now researchers at the Gladstone Institutes have come up with a system, that allows a method to reprogram specific T cells. What this means is that they can activate T cells to become over active  or suppressed. This is the first time that such an action has been made possible artificially.

The team has developed  a small-molecule drug that can successfully reprogram effector T cells into regulatory T cells. Effector T cells activate the body’s immune system against external pathogens. Regulatory T cells control the immune system and prevent it from attacking healthy parts of the body.

The ability to switch one type of T cells into the other has a great potential in helping patients deal with autoimmune diseases in the future. More science projects will be needed to understand how to customize the treatment of the patients in specific illnesses, but it is a critical innovation that will lead to future measures in disease management.

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