Treating asthma by targeting the immune system? – T cells take my breath away! #science #twinning

A new connection between asthma and T cells in the immune system!! Props to my twin brother – one of the authors, and the featured scientist in the NIH video below! More info from the NIAID here – paper in Science Translational Medicine here, and featured summary –  T cell types that take your breath away.

A new study has shown that targeting two immune cells—Th2 and Th17—and their downstream, inflammatory effects is better than targeting just one pathway in the context of asthma. The researchers also show that blocking the Th2 pathway, which is a target of commonly-prescribed corticosteroid drugs, may unexpectedly boost conditions for Th17-driven inflammation. These results clarify how immune cells and their products contribute to asthma, and the work may enable researchers to design and test therapies that target both pathways. The study appears in the August 19, 2015, edition of Science Translational Medicine and included scientists from NIAID, the University of Leicester, and Genentech.

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New two-sided antibody can get into the brain and target pathologic Alzheimer protein – with video! #science

scitransmedAn awesome new study published in Science Translational Medicine shows that a two-sided antibody could be an effective therapeutic for Alzheimers Disease. The brains of Alzheimers patients are riddled with pathological protein plaques and tangles. Removing the pathological protein from the brain using antibodies targeting them for degradation has long been thought to be a potential therapeutic. One major hurdle in implementing this, has been a mechanism to get the antibody into the brain. The brain is protected from the rest of the body by the blood brain barrier, making it harder to target with drugs and other large therapeutic agents. In this study, the authors have designed a two-sided antibody that can pass into the brain. One side of the antibody targets a protein in the brain that is responsible for making pathological amyloid. The other side of the antibody highjacks a receptor protein, which allows the antibody to enter the brain! The study shows that this antibody can be delivered intravenously in monkeys and reduce pathological protein in the brain!

Here is a link to a great cartoon video showing how this two-sided antibody works! Hopefully this technology can be used for other brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and more!genennature