Scientists trick immune system into accepting organ transplant
Apr 7, 2009 - 10:48:38 AM

Sydney, April 7 - In a significant breakthrough, scientists have tricked the immune system into accepting a new organ transplant as its own, eliminating dependence on toxic immunosuppressive drugs for a lifetime.

Jonathan Sprent and Kylie Webster from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, with colleagues Shane Grey and Stacey Walters, have successfully tested the method on mice.

'Under normal circumstances, the body would attack a transplanted organ unless immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporin were given,' said Sprent.

'In this project, mice were given a substance, or 'complex', that altered their immune systems, so that they accepted transplanted cells as their own.'

Sprent developed the 'complex' with Charles Surh from California's Scripps Research Institute and Onur Boyman, physician, who heads the Basic Immunology Unit at the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland, said a Garvan release.

The results are now online in the current edition of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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