Blog | HemaCare

How Dendritic Cells May Shed Light on Organ Rejection

Oct 29, 2018 10:02:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Dendritic cells, immune system

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Skin transplants often face rejection by the immune system, but research shows skin grafts may be pre-treated with dendritic cells before the transplant to prevent organ rejection.

In 2016, more than 33,000 organ transplants occurred in the U.S. After a person receives a transplant, the immune system may attack the organ as foreign. This can occur rapidly, within the first year, in about 15% of people who receive kidney transplants, for example. However, skin transplants are rejected at a much higher rate for reasons that are not fully understood. Researchers of Brigham and Women's Hospital embarked on research studies to determine the cause of skin transplant rejection by the immune system and how this can be prevented.

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What's New in Psychiatric and Neurologic Disorder Immunotherapy?

Jul 16, 2018 10:03:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in immunotherapy, immune system

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New studies are investigating the link between psychiatric disorders and the immune system. 

Treatments that modify the immune response, immunotherapy, are increasingly employed and researched to address many disease processes including autoimmune disorders and various types of cancer. However, the link between the immune system and the brain led to investigations regarding the role of immune function in mental health. Scientists found that the brain has a lymphatic system that links to the peripheral immune system. Also, T cells found in the meninges have an influence on cognition. The role of the immune system and effectiveness of immunotherapeutic approaches for psychiatric disorders have become important subjects of study. 

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How T Cells Navigate the Bloodstream

Feb 26, 2018 10:24:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T cells, immune system

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A crucial step in the T-cell immune response is its migration to the site of action in the body. Immature T cells do not migrate and remain in lymphoid tissue; however, mature T cells acquire the ability to migrate, and the means by which this is accomplished is not fully understood. Recent research shows that T cells migrate in a way similar to that discovered for neutrophils.

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Statins May Protect the Heart via the Immune System

Nov 21, 2016 12:00:34 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in cytotoxic T cells, Dendritic cells, immune system, research, science, scientific research

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Statins are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs that can protect against cardiovascular disease. These can slow the formation of plaques within the arteries (atherosclerosis). These atherosclerosic plaques are made of a mix of dead cells, oxidized (subjected to free radicals) low density lipoprotein (the undesirable cholesterol), and immune cells such a dendritic and T cells.

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Helping Bone Marrow Stem Cells Turn Back the Clock

May 30, 2016 1:00:21 PM / by Maria posted in aging, apoptosis, Bone marrow, cell division, immune system, research, stem cells

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Bone marrow stem cells, the source of immune cells, lose their mojo over time. Can research help them go an extra mile?

Ah, the aging process. Over time, cells lose the spring in their step, and tissues and organs aren't maintained the way we like them to be. The same holds true for our bone marrow stem cells. Long-lived cells of this type decline in their ability to generate the cell types that derive from them, including immune cells, which raises the risk of infections for elderly patients.

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