Cancer drugs show promise to fight autoimmune diseases

November 14th, 2007 - 2:23 am ICT by admin  
Dr. Wayne Hancock, a researcher behind the finding, has revealed in a report in Nature Medicine that autoimmune diseases are triggered when the immune system’s T-cells go into overdrive, and attack the body’s own cells.

Working with his colleagues, he has now discovered that HDAC inhibitors stimulate a specific class of immune cells called regulatory T-cells, which control the activity of other immune cells, including rogue T-cells.

They have found in tests on mice that HDAC inhibitors suppress inflammatory bowel disease and prevent rejection of heart and pancreatic grafts, reports the New Scientist.

Dr. Hancock thinks that HDAC inhibitors might have caused this effect by boosting both the number of regulatory T-cells and the amount of Foxp3, a messaging molecule they produce.

This surfeit of Foxp3 in turn suppresses the immune response of T-cells, he says. (ANI)

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