Home > Uncategorized > Immune Systems Tricked Into Accepting Foreign Organs

Immune Systems Tricked Into Accepting Foreign Organs


Scientists have been experimenting with ways to trick the body’s immune system into accepting foreign donated organs, and it seems that they have finally succeeded. Of eight kidney transplant patients who have been treated with this new approach, five have managed to avoid taking anti-rejection drugs a year after their surgery. These organs were accepted into their bodies no matter the blood type, from a mismatched unrelated organ donor.

I know that this is an incredible stride in medicine, as it flings doors wide open for patients to avoid a lifetime of drugs to keep their body from rejecting the organs, and even better, now finding organs for needy people will be much more successful if nearly anyone can be a math, regardless or blood type or familial relation.  And one patient, 47-year-old Lindsay Porter of Chicago, is completely free of anti-rejection drugs nearly two years after her kidney transplant.

Typically, patients have to take pills to suppress their immune systems from recognizing a foreign object, such as a new organ, and rejecting it, rendering the organ completely useless for anyone else, and for the patient’s body as well. To get transplant recipients to accept the donor organ, the team needs to condition” them by suppressing their body’s bone marrow with chemotherapy and radiation before transplanting the donor’s bone marrow, the soft fatty tissue inside bones. Bone marrow contains immature blood-forming stem cells that give rise to all blood cells, including immune system cells.

They try to use donor derived cells to achieve the full cohesion and matching in the patient’s body. Meanwhile, the transplant recipient is given radiation and chemotherapy to suppress the immune system, a process intended to prepare them for accepting the donor’s stem cells. They also get implanted with an enriched mix of the donor’s stem cells as well as their own, which tries to create a more natural environment for these two types of cells to “coexist peacefully.”

What kind of future benefits do you guys think this new way of doing surgery can bring? I personally think that the possibilities are nearly endless.

  1. March 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I think that’s a rather brilliant way of preventing the body’s immune system from rejecting foreign organs, but I’m curious if there are any side effects to implanting foreign bone marrow so the organ would be accepted. It would be great if any organ from any person could be implanted without immediate concern, as it would make lengthy donor list waits a thing of the past. However, by dampening the body’s ability to detect non-self entities within the body, such as the organ, isn’t the immune system’s ability to detect and respond to disease also hampered? Or is it such that it would only ignore the organ and not anything else?

  2. xavierholmes
    March 12, 2012 at 2:17 am

    To me this really just shows how far and how much further modern science can go to benefit mankind. Breakthroughs like this greatly increase the quality of life of people who without the help of these procedures would probably not be so well off. I totally agree with lexicory given that there are no unwanted side affects the future benefits of this surgery are endless. It’s pretty amazing that we live in a time in which if your organs stop doing their jobs doctors can replace them with parts from other human beings.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: