Chronic rejection of transplanted organs is the main cause of transplant failure, and one which the sphere of organ transplantation has not overcome in nearly six a long time since the advent of immunosuppressive medicine enabled the field to flourish.
Now, a new discovery by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medication and Houston Methodist Hospital suggesting the innate immune system can particularly keep in mind foreign cells may pave the way to drugs that lengthen long-term survival of transplanted organs. The findings, based on results in a mouse model, are featured this week in the journal.
The immune system consists of innate and adaptive branches. The innate immune cells are the first to detect foreign organisms in the body and are required to activate the adaptive immune system.
Immunological memory—which permits our bodies to recollect foreign invaders to allow them to fight them off quicker in the future—was considered distinctive to the adaptive immune system. Vaccines, for instance, benefit from this characteristic to offer long-term safety towards bacteria or viruses. Unfortunately, this very vital function of the immune system can also be why transplanted organs are ultimately rejected, even within the presence of immune-suppressing drugs.
In the new research, Lakkis, along with co-senior authors Martin Oberbarnscheidt, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery at Pitt, and Xian Li, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Immunobiology & Transplant Science Center at Houston Methodist Hospital, used a genetically modified mouse organ transplant mannequin to point out that the innate immune cells, as soon as uncovered to an international tissue, may keep in mind and provoke an immune response if uncovered to that international tissue sooner or later.