Revitalizing The Immune System

EurekAlert reports on positive early results in efforts to repair aging and failing immune systems. Researchers "have revitalised the thymus which produces the T cells required to fight infection ... the immune system deteriorated severely with age, and was further destroyed by severe viral infection and common cancer treatments ... inhibiting sex steroids improved the production of haemopoietic stem cells in bone marrow. These cells provide 'fuel' for the bone marrow and thymus to produce blood cells. ... Because the scientists have been able to manipulate the way the thymus grows back, they believe they should be able to rebuild the immune system of patients who are receiving [organ and stem cell] transplants so donor material is not rejected."



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