Immune hematology

The study find that the blocke arteries have been investigate, but have largely failed to improve outcomes. Therefore More recently, there has been increasing interest in using the body’s immune system to treat ischemia as some immune cells are known to secrete blood-vessel-promoting compounds. But However, getting therapeutic immune cells to concentrate and secrete a sufficient amount of the desire compounds; where new vessels are need remains a challenge.

The body’s immune system

A new approach from researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS); takes advantage of the surprising combination of implantable biomaterial scaffolds and childhood vaccines to solve this problem. Therefore In models of mice with hindlimb ischemia (a severe form of PAD); their technique increased the concentration of T cells at the ischemic site and stimulated angiogenesis; blood flow, and muscle fiber regeneration for up to two weeks. Because The study is report in Science Advances.

“One of the most exciting aspects of this work is that it provides a new method of enhancing blood vessel formation that does not rely on traditional biologics; such as cells, growth factors, and cytokines; that are typically use to promote vascularization;” said first author Brian Kwee, Ph.D., a former graduate student at the Wyss Institute and SEAS who is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the FDA. “Also; it more broadly suggests that advances in bioengineer T-cell therapies, which have traditionally been use to treat cancers; may be utilize to promote wound healing and regeneration.”

T-cell therapies

The biomaterial scaffold Kwee and the rest of the team used has been in development at the Wyss Institute for several years; and has been use to successfully modulate the immune system for a variety of purposes; including treating cancer and trapping T cells that have gone rogue and are attacking the body. For treating ischemia; they focus on a specific type of immune cell called T helper 2 (TH2) cells, which have been find to secrete molecules that promote blood vessel growth in addition to producing cytokines that initiate immune responses.

TH2 cells are also the crucial “memory” element of vaccinations against pathogens; as they recognize the microbe that is introduced by the vaccine and help the body mount an immune response against it in the future. But For reasons that are not yet fully understood; but delivering a small amount of aluminum in a vaccine greatly enhances TH2 cell formation; and nearly all Americans receive aluminum-containing childhood vaccines that protect them from a variety of diseases.

Vaccinations against pathogens

The Wyss team had a hunch that vaccinate people could potentially mount a stronger TH2 cell response if the right triggering antigen is introduce; and; if that antigen was incorporate into a biomaterial scaffold located near a block artery, TH2 cells could be recruit to the scaffold and release their angiogenesis-promoting compounds where they are need to help treat ischemia.