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NF-kB Activation by CD40 Is Increased in B Cells of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: A Possible Target of Immunotherapy

Feb 3, 2017 11:26:40 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Autoimmune Disorders, PBMCs, stem cell research

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An aspect of immunity involves the function of B lymphocytes (or B cells) that secrete antibodies. A protein expressed on B cells and other immune cells (CD40) is crucial for normal B cell action. CD40 interacts with a protein (CD40L) present on T cells that also contributes to B cell stimulation. This CD40-CD40L interaction is important for normal immune function. However, exaggerated B-cell responses to CD40 occur in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. It has been shown that B cells from patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) are stimulated by CD40 to multiply significantly more than in healthy patients.

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Stroke Patient Walks Again After Experimental Stem Cell Therapy

Jan 18, 2017 12:00:18 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Bone Marrow, Cell Therapy, stem cell research, Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells

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Nearly 7 million people in the U.S. (about 2% of the total U.S. population) suffer some level of stroke-related brain damage and related health problems. Studies in animals suggest that cell-based therapies can improve post-stroke outcomes. To determine the safety of cell-therapy approaches in humans, researchers from Stanford University conducted a clinical trial to study the safety of a procedure to transplant donor stem cells in the brains of patients with chronic stroke. 

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Human B-1 and B-2 B Cells Develop from Common Progenitors

Dec 12, 2016 12:45:21 PM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in B Cells, stem cell research, Stem Cells, Basic Research

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There are two broad populations of B cells, B-1 and B-2. B-1 cells are the primary B cell during fetal and neonatal development. These cells can self-renew and localize mainly in the peritoneal and pleural cavities. B-1 cells produce the majority of “natural” antibodies, immunoglobulin (Ig) M and IgA. Natural antibodies exist in the blood of healthy individuals before immunization, are the first line of defense against pathogens (disease-causing antigens), and they also influence T cell expansion.

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Dendritic Cells Direct the Delicate Balance of T-Cell Immune Responses

Dec 5, 2016 12:00:26 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in Dendritic Cells, stem cell research, T Cells

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The immune system consists of cells and factors that work to protect an organism from antigens (foreign cells or substances). T lymphocytes (T cells) are one group of cells that play important roles in immunity. Dendritic cells are another important group of immune cells that process the antigens for T cells. Not only do dendritic cells help T cells to act upon antigens, they aid in T cells’ tolerance of the body’s own cells. They do this by helping the T cells to distinguish between invading organisms and the body’s cells and molecules, between self and nonself. This role of dendritic cells helps protect the body from autoimmune attack by its T cells. Therefore, dendritic cells play key and essential roles in the direction and control of appropriate T cell responses.

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p11 Levels Increase in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Nov 9, 2016 12:00:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in p11, PBMCs, stem cell research, Stem Cell Therapy, CNS/Neurodegeneration, Basic Research

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Depression is a common and challenging component of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Up to 70% of patients with PD experience depression. This clinical symptom is not only a result of PD, but a part of the condition itself. Study findings have shown that inflammation not only plays a part in the physical signs of PD, but is also involved in the development of depression. The increase in inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines, in PD is detectable before signs of PD begin. These mediators may serve as important biomarkers of PD that can be utilized to detect PD and allow early intervention.

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