Chang Kim Researching Conversion of Blood Cells into Autoimmune Disease Treatment

Dr. Chang Kim
Dr. Chang Kim
Cells from one's own blood could be converted into a treatment for autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, based on the discovery of a Purdue University researcher, Dr. Chang Kim, a professor of biomedical engineering and comparative pathobiology.

Kim has created a way to direct the differentiation of T-cells, a white blood cell that is a key player in the body's immune system. The method uses naïve T-cells, immature cells from which all T-cells develop, and induces them to become suppressive T-cells that block the development of painful inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. Naïve T-cells can be gathered from a patient's blood, treated and then re-injected.

Suppressive T-cells migrate to areas of inflammation and suppress the T-cells there without significantly lowering the number of T-cells in other areas of the body where they are needed for proper immune function, Kim said.

"Treatment with suppressive T-cells has the potential to be a much more precise and targeted regulation of immune function than what currently exists," he said. "Treating autoimmune diseases without compromising a patient's immune system has been a big problem in the field. We need to catch the thief without taking down the house, and this has that potential."

The full article is available at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q3/researcher-finds-way-to-convert-blood-cells-into-autoimmune-disease-treatment.html