More MS news articles for August 2002

The use of cell products for treatment of autoimmune neuroinflammatory diseases

Curr Med Chem 2002 Aug;9(16):1497-505
Ernerudh J, Berlin G, Ekerfelt C.
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, University of Linkoping, Linkoping, Sweden.

Cell products are live cells that are given to patients in order to replace or modify the function of missing or dysfunctional cells.

Progress in technology and in the understanding of pathobiology may lead to the use of cell products in many areas.

This review outlines the use of cell products in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, with focus on neuroinflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis.

Treatment of autoimmune diseases should be selective and specific in order to avoid serious side effects.

To achieve this, T lymphocyte regulation has been in focus for several immunomodulatory regimens.

One area of great interest is the use of T cell vaccination, when autologous attenuated auto-reactive T cells are given to patients in order to initiate a specific immune response to the pathogenic T cell populations.

Phopheresis may be an immunomodulatory treatment related to T cell vaccination.

Another promising area involves ex-vivo alteration of the cytokine profile of harmful auto-reactive T cells.

This can be achieved by genetic manipulation or by certain cytokine stimulations.

A subsequent adoptive cell transfer will, by homing mechanisms, lead to at site specific delivery of the cells, which will have a local down-regulatory effect on the inflammatory process.

Although unsolved questions regarding doses, timing, optimal preparing conditions and mechanisms still remain, both T cell vaccination and adoptive transfer of ex-vivo manipulated cytokine secreting cells have proven successful for treatment of neuroinflammation in experimental models.

T cell vaccination was shown to be feasible in patients with multiple sclerosis, however, otherwise the experience in humans so far is limited.