taking these medicines may be prone to serious infections and even cancer as
the drugs suppress the body's immune system nonspecifically. Moreover,
diseases like hypertension,
, and diabetes, which
are the non-immunological side effects of immunosuppression may diminish the
advantages of the transplant received. Additionally, many
recipients lose their grafts as
are not very
effective in preventing rejection over longer periods of time.
an increasing number of chronically immunosuppressed transplant recipients has
been affected as there has been no progress in the field of immune tolerance.
Pursuing immune tolerance has become the primary goal in the field of
transplant medicine for many immunologists.
Enhanced transplants and patient survival could
be achieved if tolerance to transplants is developed, while the need for
chronic immunosuppression could be eliminated.
for many decades now have been attempting to help the immune systems of
transplant recipients to accept transplanted cells and organs without taking
anti-rejection drugs in the long-term. Peter Medawar was the first to
demonstrate that immune tolerance of transplants can be achieved,
mice to prove his claim in his Nobel Prize-winning work 65 years ago.
Transplant tolerance has been achieved only in very few patients despite this
research undertaken by the New University of Minnesota has shown that
anti-rejection may not be required to prevent rejection of transplanted organs
in recipients. The research was a collaborative effort between the University
of Minnesota Medical School's Department of Surgery and Schulze Diabetes
Institute and the Northwestern University and the study had been
published in Nature Communications.
primates, a step away from humans, were the subjects of the study that was
performed in a stringent preclinical transplant setting. The research team was
able to maintain long-term survival and function of pancreatic islet
transplants despite completely discontinuing the anti-rejection drugs 21 days
after the transplant.
Eliminating Immunosuppressive DrugsThe unique attributes of modified donor white
blood cells have been used by the study to its advantage.
cells were infused into transplant recipients one week before and one day after
the transplant. This resulted in nature's formula for sustaining the body's
tolerance of its own tissues and organs being repeated.
Islet cell transplants could become the
choice of treatment with the elimination of the need for long-term anti-rejection drugs. They could possibly also become a cure for people
suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Hering, Professor and Vice-Chair of Translational Medicine in the
Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota and the holder of Jeffrey
Dobbs and David Sutherland, MD, PhD, Chair in Diabetes Research, is the senior
author of the study. He was quoted saying, "Our
study is the first that reliably and safely induces lasting immune tolerance of
transplants in nonhuman primates. The consistency with which we were able to
induce and maintain tolerance to transplants in nonhuman primates makes us very
hopeful that our findings can be confirmed for the benefit of patients in
planned clinical trials in pancreatic islet and living-donor kidney
transplantation - it would open an entirely new era in transplantation
- Researchers Remove the Need for Anti-Rejection Drugs in Transplant Recipients - (https://med.umn.edu/news-events/researchers-remove-need-anti-rejection-drugs-transplant-recipients)