According to the current issue of CELL TRANSPLANTATION the researchers of The university of Florida has discovered a preliminary “molecular signature” based on gene expression. This will help them to predict acute GVHD (graft-versus-host disease) and will also improve the output of liver stem cell transplant. This development is supposed to be a major breakthrough.
Stem cell therapy involves the transplantation of stem cells of one human to another and this increases the growth of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In GVHD, the immune cells from the donated marrow or cord blood (the graft) attack the body of the transplanted patient (the host).The immune system uses markers called HLA to recognize the foreign cells. If HLA fails to recognize some cells then immune cells attack and kill those cells.
Recently a study was done by Dr. Vijay Reddy, MD, PhD and his associates, involving four acute GVHD patients and four acute GVHD free patients. They found that there were significant differences in the expression of 1,658 genes between the acute GVHD and GVHD free patients. All these immune-related genes showed great amount of changes.
They also found a predominately pro-inflammatory gene expression profile in acute GVHD patients and discovered that the cellular inflammatory responses of IL-27, IL-22 and Th17 are actively involved in the development of acute GVHD.
Dr Paul Sanberg, distinguished Professor at University of South Florida Health and co-editor-in-chief of Cell Transplantation says that this study is a major breakthrough as it will help them to develop biomarkers. This biomarkers will help them to predict who is at greater risk for GVHD following current and future stem cell treatments.