Substance that can control T cells found

April 11, 2006 at 6:26 AM
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SEOUL, April 11 (UPI) -- South Korean scientists have discovered a substance effective in dealing with diseases related to excessive autoimmune responses.

Research head Professor Lee Sang-kyoo of Yonsei University said the new substance, dubbed FHT-CT4, can bring T cells under control, The Korea Times reported Monday.

T cells play a pivotal role in the immune response. Diseases such as atopy and asthma can occur when overly activated T cells respond too sensitively to outer stimuli.

Lee's team found FHT-CT4 prevents T cells from being activated beyond control, thus blocking the occurrence of such diseases.

The substance is expected to have extensive medical potential as it has minimal side effects, affecting only T cells. Plus, the targeted diseases have a lot of sufferers.

In particular, atopy, an intensely itchy skin condition known as being related to allergens in the air or food, recently has become rapidly widespread around the world.

The breakthrough was featured in the latest edition of peer-review journal Nature Medicine.

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