Transplant Researchers Discover Optimum Route to Improved Suppressor Cell Function

Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that regulatory T cells must migrate from transplanted organs to the lymph nodes draining the organs for optimum suppressor cell function.

New York, NY
 – March 13, 2009 /Press Release/  –– 

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered that regulatory T cells must migrate from transplanted organs to the lymph nodes draining the organs for optimum suppressor cell function. The paper, "Regulatory T cells sequentially migrate from the site of tissue inflammation to the draining lymph node to suppress the alloimmune response," has been published in the March 2009 issue of Immunity.

To determine the site and mechanism of suppression by regulatory T cells, the study investigated migration and function in an islet allograft model. Researchers found that T cells first migrated from blood to the inflamed allograft where they were essential for the suppression of alloimmunity. During migration, suppressor cells underwent differentiation and activation showing that as cell move they also undergo changes in maturation at the same time. This has not previously been shown for these suppressor cells.

The study suggests that the immune response can be controlled therapeutically by regulating the way lymphocytes migrate, said Dr Jonathan Bromberg, Professor in the Department of Surgery and Gene and Cell Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "These findings have uncovered a previously unanticipated process that regulated the response to transplanted organs and probably the response to other immunological stimuli such as infections or tumors."

Much immunological research and control of immune mediated diseases is directed at changing the way that the cells of the immune system mature or differentiate. The results here suggest that by changing the way that cells of the immune system move may then regulate maturation or differentiation, and thus change immune and inflammatory responses.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.