In an important breakthrough, stem cell researchers here claimed to have found a way out where organ transplantation among the patients could be free of immunosuppressive drugs, which often lead to reduced immunity, making their life difficult post transplant.
The researchers claim to have generated T-regs (Regulatory T Cells) in laboratory, which, on being administered to patients, eliminate the need for immunosuppressants after undergoing organ transplantation.
“Researchers infused T-regs in about 27 kidney patients so far after the transplantation. These patients underwent stem cell infusion, followed by kidney transplantation after immune testing and then T-reg infusion,” head of department of pathology, Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre-Institute of Transplantation Sciences (IKDRC-ITS), Dr Aruna Vanikar told PTI.
T-regs are a variety of cells that display regulatory function in vitro and in vivo. They play a major role in shutdown of T cell-mediated immunity and are capable of inducing energy towards self and allo-antigens.
“T-regs eliminate requirement for immunasuppressant medications. This is the second major breakthrough that researchers have achieved after generating Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) and hematopoietic stem cells in more than 1,500 renal allograft (transplant) recipients for reducing immunosuppression,” she said.
The breakthrough, she said, is expected to create a milestone in all solid organ transplantations and will save patients from associated morbidity and mortality, apart from reducing family’s financial burden.
The generation of T-regs may also help in treatment of diseases like autoimmune disorders, including all kinds of diabetes, hematopoietic disorders like haemophilia and may also help in curing AIDS and cancer, Vanikar claimed.