Cell immune dampening signal identified

May 17, 2007 at 2:42 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists discovered that a well-known cell receptor sends a signal to dampen the immune system -- a finding that might help control immune responses.

While not having an immediate application to treating disease, the finding by researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania raises the possibility that by targeting the receptor, physicians could stimulate a "non-danger" signal to control overzealous human immune responses.

Controlling such responses could potentially protect transplant patients from rejection episodes or relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

The study, which was performed in mice, appears in the Journal of Immunology.

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