Nano-immunotherapy enhances long-term acceptance of transplanted organs

Development of new nano-immunotherapy could transform patient care and provide a solution to the problems hindering success of transplants.

Transplanted organs can be rejected by the body when innate immune cells called myeloid cells induce T-cells to attack it. To prevent this immune response, patients must take drugs that suppress this T-cell activity, but this hinders the patient’s immune system leaving them vulnerable to infection and cancer. The patients also need to take more than a dozen pills every day for the remainder of their lives.

However Ochando and colleagues have developed a nano-immunotherapy that targets myeloid cells and prevents their activation and their triggering of T-cells. The T-cells are unaffected by the therapy and maintain their usual function, without attacking the transplanted organ.

In a mouse model, the authors found that 100 days after heart transplant, mice that were given the nano-immunotherapy but no standard anti-rejection therapy had accepted the transplant. All mice that did not receive either therapy rejected the transplant within ten days and all mice that received only the standard drugs rejected the transplant within 50 days.

Mulder says the team hopes the new nano-immunotherapy can eventually become the standard of care for organ transplant recipients, eliminating the need for medication and further treatment.

“It may increase the success rate of organ transplantation and makes it a safer and easier process for patients,” he concludes.

Source: News Medical