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Designer cells to fight Psoriasis and Arthritis

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Designer cells to fight Psoriasis and Arthritis

Traditionally, autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, in which the body’s immune system launches an attack on the body’s own tissues, are treated by tamping down the immune system with suppressant drugs.

But researchers have now devised another approach: a tiny implant of designer cells that detect inflammatory compounds before a breakout of psoriasis or arthritis and then pump out anti-inflammatory compounds in response, thereby treating the flare-up before it starts.

Medical breakthrough

Martin Fussenegger, a professor of biotechnology and bioengineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology–Zurich in Basel, Switzerland, has designed human cells with genetic circuitry to sense proteins that trigger psoriasis.

“These designer cells can not only sense psoriasis and its pro-inflammatory proteins, they can also process that information and tune an appropriate response to stop psoriasis,” says Fussenegger. These designer cells work not by erasing existing symptoms, like most treatments, but actually by stopping psoriasis before it starts. Experiments with the treatment in mice have so far been successful.

“We could show that mice, which had been implanted with those designer cells, did not get a psoratic flare because the designer cells were early on detecting that the immune system is mounting an inflammatory response and were just chopping it off from the beginning,” Fussenegger explains.

Triggering a cure

When this becomes functional, the designer cell treatment will involve an implant under the skin and, according to Fussenegger, could be used to treat other inflammatory diseases — like arthritis.

As promising as the new treatment seems, it’s still in early stages. Fussenegger guesses it will be another decade or so before it’s ready for use in people. “It needs to be carefully tested according to the rules. And I believe we’re getting there, but it’s not an immediate product that people can expect in the next two to three years.”

#ArthritisResearch #PsoriaticArthritis #AutoImmuneDisease #Inflammation #RheumatoidArthritis

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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