Menu

Molecular Trigger for Organ Rejection in Mice Identified

The cell-surface receptor, SIRP-alpha, initiates the innate immune response in hosts.  

Jun 27, 2017
Diana Kwon

ISTOCK, TIRIPEROAround half of all organ transplants in humans are rejected by the recipient's immune system within 10 to 12 years. Scientists studying mice have now identified a key cell receptor that triggers this process. Their results were published last week (June 23) in Science Immunology.

"For the first time, we have an insight into the earliest steps that start the rejection response," study coauthor Fadi Lakkis of the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, says in a statement. "Interrupting this first recognition of foreign tissues by the innate immune system would disrupt the rejection process at its earliest inception stage and could prevent the transplant from failing."

Using positional cloning, a method that can identify genetic mutations, Lakkis and colleagues discovered that SIRP-alpha, a cell-surface receptor that varies across individual mice, was responsible for activating the innate immune response—the body's first-line, nonspecific defense mechanism. When the researchers transplanted tissue from one mouse into a host animal with different SIRP-alpha receptors, the molecule bound to the CD47 receptor on the recipient's monocytes, a type of innate immune cell, and generated a rejection response.

Since human cells also express SIRP-alpha, sequencing this gene to identify donors with matching molecules could help reduce rejection rates, Lakkis says in the statement.

"One can imagine these interactions being critical in providing a constant trigger that poises the immune response to reject the organ, and thus new therapies that limit the function of these receptors may promote organ survival," Anita Chong, a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "This is a possibility, although much work needs to be done to test whether this molecular pathway will actually impact the outcome of organ transplants in the clinic."

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.
Corning Introduces New 1536-well Spheroid Microplate
Corning Introduces New 1536-well Spheroid Microplate
High-throughput spheroid microplate benefits cancer research, drug screening