December 7, 2011
Columbus, Ohio – Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine are recipients of a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the formation and regulation of alloantibodies after a patient receives a transplant. Alloantibodies are proteins produced naturally in response to antigens from donors, and allow the body to gain immunity against the foreign molecules.
Ginny Bumgardner, MD, PhD, FACS, associate dean for research education and professor of surgery at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center, and colleagues are interested in cells, molecules and signals involved with the formation of alloantibodies, which damage transplanted cells and organs. Specifically, the scientists are studying CD8T cells and want to understand how these cells regulate the development of alloantibodies through the interaction with B and/or NKT cells. According to Bumgardner, this research is important to developing strategies and therapeutics to preserve graft function after transplant.
“We want to identify biomarkers to predict which patients are most at risk for developing alloantibodies, so we can intervene before alloantibody levels increase,” says Bumgardner. “These studies will help identify ways to prevent the development of alloantibodies after transplant. Only when we find the mechanisms responsible for regulation of these alloantibodies can we suppress their development and preserve a patient’s ability to combat infection post transplant.”
Contact: Sherri Kirk, College of Medicine Strategic Communications, 614-366-3277, or Sherri.Kirk@osumc.edu.