Studying Immune Microenvironment To Prevent Rejection After Pediatric Liver Transplant.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles researchers are making strides in developing personalized immunosuppression therapies for pediatric liver transplant patients. Currently, these patients must take immunosuppressant medications for their entire lives, but the medications often come with severe side effects. To address this issue, the researchers are working on an imaging panel that identifies specific cell types associated with transplant rejection. By finding potential biomarkers, they hope to develop therapies that target these specific cells, leading to more effective treatment with fewer side effects. The researchers used tissue biopsies from 79 adult liver transplant patients to generate an atlas of over 400,000 cells and identify unique signatures of active T-cell-mediated rejection. Their findings were published in Science Advances.

According to Dr. Juliet Emamaullee, a transplant surgeon at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the treatment of transplant rejection hasn’t changed in 40 years. The researchers’ imaging panel could help change that by allowing doctors to detect rejection markers in the blood rather than through invasive biopsies. The panel utilizes proteomics-based imaging mass cytometry to categorize different immune cell types at a single-cell resolution. Machine learning algorithms were used to analyze the interactions of immune cells during rejection episodes, revealing unique signatures of rejection. This breakthrough could revolutionize the treatment of transplant rejection in pediatric patients, leading to more personalized and effective therapies.

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