A huge quantity of rare cells that can help counter autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis have been developed in the lab by British scientists.
Autoimmune disease are disorders where the immune system attacks the body's own tissue and regulatory T-cells or T-regs have always been seen by researchers as a possible way to dampen the immune response of the body.
However, T-regs only constitute about one percent of the immune cells in the body and getting their large supply had always been a problem. Also, there was a danger of the weakening of the entire immune system if the production of T-regs went unregulated.
But now Hans Stauss and his colleagues at University College London have solved both these problems by experimenting on mice and succeeded in creating a virtually unlimited supply of T-regs, reports the New Scientist.
Stauss believes their research could be applied to cure or limit autoimmune diseases in all parts of the body.
The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.