Oct 24, 2022

Engineered protein calms immune cells to prevent autoimmune diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Our immune system is the first line of defense against disease, but unfortunately it can go rogue and attack healthy tissues. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have now engineered a protein that may help prevent these autoimmune diseases by boosting the number of regulatory T cells (Tregs).

The immune system keeps a vigilant watch over our bodies at all times, tagging and destroying foreign pathogens or problematic cells to prevent illness. However, sometimes it can get a little overzealous and start attacking the body’s own cells, which can trigger a range of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

To prevent these issues from arising, immune cells called Tregs play the vital role of keeping the immune system responses in check, but they can fail at this job. So for the new study, the researchers set out to boost their numbers, following previous studies that have shown promise in doing so to help treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.

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