More MS news articles for July 2001

Aspirin Targets Key Cell That Triggers Organ Rejection And Other Immune Responses

http://www.ms-network.com/newsflash/show.asp?ID=223

From:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605080118.htm

11 July 2001

University of Pittsburgh researchers have identified a new cellular target for aspirin.

In the June 15 issue of the Journal of Immunology, the researchers report for the first time that aspirin has a profound effect on bone-marrow derived dendritic cells -- the powerful immune system cells that are responsible for initiating an immune response -- by preventing their maturation and hence, their ability to signal other cells to attack.

The findings help to explain why aspirin taken in high doses significantly reduces inflammation and provides relief to patients with various autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and rheumatic fever, says lead author Holger Hackstein, M.D., a visiting research fellow at the University of Pittsburghs Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, who is working in the lab of Angus Thomson, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of surgery and molecular genetics and biochemistry and senior author on the paper.

And while the research used a mouse model to look at aspirins effect on myeloid dendritic cells, the findings point to possible novel therapies for patients with autoimmune diseases as well as approaches that could induce tolerance in organ transplant recipients.