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Autoimmune Allergy Gene Therapy Stem Cell

Allergy Protection Possibility

3 months, 2 weeks ago

9463  0
Posted on Feb 03, 2018, 11 a.m.

Immunology research at The University of Queensland suggests that it may be possible to get life-long protection from severe allergies such as asthma from a single treatment that has been able to turn-off the immune responses that cause allergic reactions in animals. Associate Professor Ray Steptoe from the UQ Diamantina Institute led the research team. The study has had its findings published in JCI Insight.

Immunology research at The University of Queensland suggests that it may be possible to get life-long protection from severe allergies such as asthma from a single treatment that has been able to turn-off the immune responses that cause allergic reactions in animals. Associate Professor Ray Steptoe from the UQ Diamantina Institute led the research team. The study has had its findings published in JCI Insight.

 

Professor Steptoe explains, that when a flare up occurs in an individual the symptoms manifested are the results of the immune cells reacting to protein in the allergen. The immune cells can develop a form of immune memory, and as a result they become resistant to treatments. He adds that the team has been able to wipe the memory of the immune cells in animals by using gene therapy, which desensitises the immune system making it so that it will tolerate the protein it formerly reacted to.

 

An experimental asthma allergen was used to conduct this study, but the research can be utilized and applied to treat individuals afflicted with severe allergies to things such as bee venom, shellfish, peanuts and other substances. The findings of this study are subject to further investigation. The next phase of this research being to replicate the results using human cells in the laboratory.

 

Blood stem cells are taken from the subject, to which a gene is then inserted that will regulate the allergen protein, which is then put into the recipient. These new engineered cells will then turn off the allergic responses by producing new blood cells that will express the protein and target specific immune cells,. The target end goal is to produce a single injected gene therapy, effectively replacing short treatments that target allergy symptoms with varying degrees of effectiveness.

 

This research has been funded by the Asthma Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council, which welcome the findings of this research, with hopes of one day soon there being a safe and effective method of a one time treatment with the ability to potentially eliminate and experience of allergies and asthma in vulnerable patients.

Materials

provided by University of Queensland.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

 

Journal Reference:

Jane AL-Kouba, Andrew N. Wilkinson, Malcolm R. Starkey, Rajeev Rudraraju, Rhiannon B. Werder, Xiao Liu, Soi-Cheng Law, Jay C. Horvat, Jeremy F. Brooks, Geoffrey R. Hill, Janet M. Davies, Simon Phipps, Philip M. Hansbro, Raymond J. Steptoe. Allergen-encoding bone marrow transfer inactivates allergic T cell responses, alleviating airway inflammation. JCI Insight, 2017; 2 (11) DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.85742

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