New Cell Beneficial In Protecting Patients From Transplant Rejection
Ohio State University researchers have identified an immune cell that could predict a transplant patient’s risk of rejecting the organ. A recent study measured levels of the cell in kidney transplant recipients and found that those with higher levels were less likely to develop donor-specific antibodies, which can cause immediate damage to the organ or lead to rejection.
This not only could help doctors assess a patient’s risk of rejection but may lead to new treatment options before and after surgery, according to OSU Medical Center transplant surgeon Dr. Ginny Bumgardner.
"We could use it as a therapy to do two things," Bumgardner continued. "One, to prevent antibody development in the first place, antibodies that are directed against the donor organ. Secondly, for patients who do develop antibody mediated rejection, we may be able to use the cells as a therapy to suppress the rejection."
Preventing organ rejection can also reduce the need for additional transplants, which health officials say will help alleviate the organ shortage for the more than 110,000 Americans awaiting a lifesaving transplant.
The study regarding the CD8+ T immune cell is published in the journal Transplantation.