Nanoparticle Restores Normal Immune Response in Mice with MS
November 20, 2012 6:31 AM
comment(s) - last by
This could one day halt other immune-related diseases like Type 1 diabetes
A new method in the realm of nanotechnology has reset the immune system response in mice with
multiple sclerosis (MS)
, which could one day halt other immune-related diseases like Type 1 diabetes.
A team of researchers from Northwestern University, which was led by Stephen Miller and Lonnie Shea, were able to use nanoparticles to trick the immune system into not attacking myelin, which is a membrane that the immune system destroys to cause MS in patients.
MS is diagnosed when myelin, a membrane that insulates nerve cells in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve, is destroyed by the immune system. When myelin is attacked and destroyed, electrical signals cannot travel correctly, and this can lead to limb numbness and paralysis.
Current treatments for MS include suppressing the entire immune system so that it cannot attack myelin. However, shutting down immune response means that the patient's body is more susceptible to infections and even cancer.
The new method employed by the Northwestern researchers doesn't suppress the immune response, but rather tricks it into thinking that myelin is a normal part of the immune system. Hence, it doesn't attack the camouflaged membrane.
This is how it works: myelin antigens are attached to nanoparticles, where the nanoparticles are made up of a polymer called Poly(lactide-co-gycolide), or PLG. PLG is made up of glycolin acid and lactic acid, which are natural metabolites in the human body. Also, PLG is already FDA-approved.
These nanoparticles with myelin antigens were injected into mice -- the spleen, to be exact. Here, blood is filtered and aging or dying blood cells are tossed out. The nanoparticles were absorbed by immune cells called macrophages, and the antigens were shown on the cell surface. The immune system saw them as regular blood cells, and halted any attack.
According to results, the team was able to prevent future relapses for up to 100 days.
"This is a highly significant breakthrough in translational immunotherapy," said Miller. "The beauty of this new technology is it can be used in
many immune-related diseases
. We simply change the antigen that's delivered. The holy grail is to develop a therapy that is specific to the pathological immune response, in this case the body attacking myelin. Our approach resets the immune system so it no longer attacks myelin but leaves the function of the normal immune system intact."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/20/2012 7:45:39 AM
Well that is
, now let's hope it works the same on humans and most importantly, if so, actually makes it to the market..
11/20/2012 12:51:27 PM
Thankfully, it should, on both accounts.
There are already phase II human trials using this technique but with white blood cells as the vehicle rather than nanoparticles. That has a lot of harvesting issues and expensive difficulties that the nanoparticles solve handedly. So, the tolerance systems being activated in the spleen exist the same in humans and mice so far as we've seen (it's a highly conserved system throughout the mammalian branch, so no surprise).
And then the nanoparticles themselves are just made out of two metabolites your body naturally makes, and is already used for biodegradable sutures, which have been FDA approved for a long time.
So, everything is looking marvelous for this new technology: proven indirectly, already FDA approved, and successful in mice. It should get a fast track to humans, and immediately eclipses the white blood cell therapies that are in the works.
This is the holy grail of immune system modulation. And best yet? We can use this for -any- autoimmune disease where we know the antigens. Rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, lupus, type I diabetes, maybe even Parkinson's, if that's ultimately caused by the immune system as some research suggests.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
Environmental Toxin "Acrolein" May Help Cause Multiple Sclerosis
November 24, 2010, 2:00 PM
Artificial Pancreas Shows Promise for Type 1 Diabetes Patients
April 18, 2010, 6:06 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
5 Excellent Cable Modems: Buy Your Own and Avoid Rental Fees
July 28, 2016, 8:44 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information