In brief

March 2016   Comments

Finding a clue to transplant rejection

A recent discovery sheds light on why organ transplants are sometimes rejected, and it may increase the future success rate of transplant surgery. Vesicles released by damaged blood vessels put a patient’s immune system “on alert” and increase the possibility of transplant rejection, University of Montreal researchers found. The vesicles trigger the production of autoantibodies, which prime the immune system to attack the donor organ. However, using cultured cells and animal models, the researchers found that the anti-cancer drug bortezomib blocks the enzyme activity of the vesicles and makes the immune system “deaf” to their alerts. Their study appears in Science Translational Medicine.

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