Scientists develop nanoparticle method to help tackle major diseases

user9876

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Scientists have developed a way of modifying a microscopic particle which could offer a new approach to tackling major diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, asthma and food allergies.
When primed, the nanoparticle can trick the immune system into halting its attack on the body which is a characteristic of these diseases.

When primed, the nanoparticle can trick the immune system into halting its attack on the body which is a characteristic of these diseases
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...od-to-help-tackle-major-diseases-8327197.html
 

user9876

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Looks like an interesting new type of treatment for autoimmune diseases
They have published a paper just out in Nature Biotechnology. Although the full paper is not freely available.

Microparticles bearing encephalitogenic peptides induce T-cell tolerance and ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Aberrant T-cell activation underlies many autoimmune disorders, yet most attempts to induce T-cell tolerance have failed. Building on previous strategies for tolerance induction that exploited natural mechanisms for clearing apoptotic debris, we show that antigen-decorated microparticles (500-nm diameter) induce long-term T-cell tolerance in mice with relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Specifically, intravenous infusion of either polystyrene or biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles bearing encephalitogenic peptides prevents the onset and modifies the course of the disease. These beneficial effects require microparticle uptake by marginal zone macrophages expressing the scavenger receptor MARCO and are mediated in part by the activity of regulatory T cells, abortive T-cell activation and T-cell anergy. Together these data highlight the potential for using microparticles to target natural apoptotic clearance pathways to inactivate pathogenic T cells and halt the disease process in autoimmunity.

http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nbt.2434.html

Also science daily report
http://www.sciencedaily.com/release...ience+(ScienceDaily:+Top+News+--+Top+Science)
 

Waverunner

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"The nanoparticles have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US for a different use and could be easily manufactured making the treatment cheaper than other approaches."
 

alex3619

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Nanoparticle approaches are interesting ... but potentially very unpredictable. Essentially this is about confusing the immune system by modifying epitopes. The problem is those epitopes are usually functional ... they do something. So this can have the effect of a systemic poison. Its very dangerous, but at the same time very promising. One of the problems is that, as a biochemist, I have a poor understanding of nanoparticle physics. Properties of matter at that level are very different from what we are used to. So many people may find it hard to assess risk ... that includes both over-estimating and under-estimating risk. I think its worth researching, but its something that needs to be examined and tested very very thoroughly. Bye, Alex
 

user9876

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Nanoparticle approaches are interesting ... but potentially very unpredictable. Essentially this is about confusing the immune system by modifying epitopes. The problem is those epitopes are usually functional ... they do something. So this can have the effect of a systemic poison. Its very dangerous, but at the same time very promising. One of the problems is that, as a biochemist, I have a poor understanding of nanoparticle physics. Properties of matter at that level are very different from what we are used to. So many people may find it hard to assess risk ... that includes both over-estimating and under-estimating risk. I think its worth researching, but its something that needs to be examined and tested very very thoroughly. Bye, Alex
My hope is that as they look at the immune system from a different angle they may get some different insights. I suspect any treatments will be many years away. When I looked at there web site I did find this quote talking of natural nanoparticles (and synthesizing particles that mimic them. It made me wonder if there are many such particles in the body and what we understand about them.

Thaxton has developed a method of synthesizing nanoparticles that mimic naturally occurring nanoparticles in the body. The synthetic target was high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) which are natural nanoparticles that have a number of biological functions, perhaps most well-known due to their ability to bind “good” cholesterol to remove it from the cells and tissues in the body where cholesterol accumulation may lead to, for example, heart attacks. The Thaxton lab formulated biomimetic nanoparticle high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) as potential therapeutic agents that function similarly to their natural counterparts and, one day, may be considered therapy to treat cholesterol build-up or to sequester other toxins that target similar cellular locations as cholesterol. Control over the synthesis of HDLs is enabling the group to better understand the particles’ biological functions and how to change and manipulate the way the materials interact with cells. This understanding may pave the way to potent therapies for many disease processes beyond heart disease, such as cancer, where access of HDLs to specific cell types may be leveraged for targeted drug delivery.
http://www.feinberg.northwestern.ed...Presidential+Award&utm_campaign=FSM+Slideshow
 
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http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/201...could-treat-ms-other-autoimmune-diseases?lite

Researchers trying to find a way to treat multiple sclerosis think they’ve come up with an approach that could not only help patients with MS, but those with a range of so-called autoimmune diseases, from type-1 diabetes
to psoriasis, and perhaps even food allergies.

So far it’s only worked in mice, but it has worked especially well. And while mice are different from humans in many ways, their immune systems are quite similar.
“If this works, it is going to be absolutely fantastic,” said Bill Heetderks, who directs outside research at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health, which helped pay for the research. “Even if it doesn’t work, it’s going to be another step down the road.”
 

Waverunner

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Looks like an interesting new type of treatment for autoimmune diseases
They have published a paper just out in Nature Biotechnology. Although the full paper is not freely available.
The pieces of this puzzle start coming together.

A few quotes from the full study:

"...We previously reported that intravenous administration of soluble peptides crosslinked to syngeneic splenic leukocytes using ethylene carbodiimide (ECDI) safely and efficiently induces antigen-specific immune tolerance, is effective in the prevention and treatment of T helper type 1 (TH1) cell– and/or TH17 cell–mediated autoimmune diseases and overcomes many of the drawbacks of the failed trials involving monoclonal antibodies and soluble peptides10–12...However, the challenge of isolating isologous leukocytes and peptide coupling under good manufacturing practices (GMP) may inhibit clinical application of this therapy...This study supports the use of antigen-coupled microparticles as a tool for tolerance induction. This option will probably have broad therapeutic utility, with preliminary studies in airway allergy27 and allotolerance18,28 yielding promising results..."

We are moving forward.