Nav: Home

New technique to identify a common cause to TMA diseases for which there is a treatment

November 08, 2019

There is a group of diseases whose symptoms have a common origin: a lesion in the endothelial tissue that covers the inside of the blood vessels. This lesion, called TMA (Thrombotic Microangiopathy), causes a migration of platelets to cover the wound. Smaller blood vessels collapse, producing a series of symptoms such as anaemia, hypertension, and failure in organs such as the kidney, the central nervous system, or the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.

Diseases whose onset is due to a TMA, range from pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome in pregnant women to lupus and other pathologies such as Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS). The aHUS is a rare, systemic disease for which there was no treatment until 2013, so its prognosis was fatal.

The aHUS predominantly affects the kidney, and its cause is an abnormality in the alternative pathway of the complement system, a part of the immune system, which turns against the patient's cells. This pathway consists of a series of biochemical reactions that culminate in the formation of a protein complex called C5b-9 that perforates the cells. The drug that is used to treat aHUS inhibits the C5b-9 complex and reverses the patient's symptoms within a few days.

Recently, Marta Palomo, researcher of the Barcelona Endothelium Team of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC), and Miquel Blasco, nephrologist of the Hospital Clínic and researcher of IDIBAPS, have developed a technique that allows to detect, in a clinical laboratory and in 72 hours, if the complement pathway is activated in patients whose disease is associated with TMA. This technique allows clinicians to determine the potential of the use of the aHUS drug to solve other diseases.

Miquel Blasco states that "this technique saves weeks and weeks of tests from ruling out diseases and waste time that the patient does not have." According to the nephrologist, "among the diseases caused by TMA, there are secondary TMAs, such as pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome, which affect pregnant women putting at risk the viability of the fetus since inducing the birth is the only way to save mother and baby. The shorter the gestation time, the lower the probability of survival of the newborn."

This technique would be added to the medical diagnostic protocols of all forms of diseases related to TMA. One of the following steps is to investigate the complement pathway in TMA associated with bone marrow transplantation in patients with leukaemia, to know if this route is deregulated in these patients.

Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute

Related Immune System Articles:

Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.
Parkinson's and the immune system
Mutations in the Parkin gene are a common cause of hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease.
How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.
Immune system upgrade
Theoretically, our immune system could detect and kill cancer cells.
Using the immune system as a defence against cancer
Research published today in the British Journal of Cancer has found that a naturally occurring molecule and a component of the immune system that can successfully target and kill cancer cells, can also encourage immunity against cancer resurgence.
First impressions go a long way in the immune system
An algorithm that predicts the immune response to a pathogen could lead to early diagnosis for such diseases as tuberculosis
Filming how our immune system kill bacteria
To kill bacteria in the blood, our immune system relies on nanomachines that can open deadly holes in their targets.
Putting the break on our immune system's response
Researchers have discovered how a tiny molecule known as miR-132 acts as a 'handbrake' on our immune system -- helping us fight infection.
Decoding the human immune system
For the first time ever, researchers are comprehensively sequencing the human immune system, which is billions of times larger than the human genome.
Masterswitch discovered in body's immune system
Scientists have discovered a critical part of the body's immune system with potentially major implications for the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases affecting humans.
More Immune System News and Immune System Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at