Over-expressed molecule dictates severity of acute GVHD

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According to findings published in the journal Blood, Ohio researchers believe they have uncovered the reason behind the severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients receiving a bone marrow transplantation.

Researchers with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center used an animal model along with tissues from human patients to demonstrate that over-expression of the molecule microRNA-155 (miR-155) controls the severity of acute GVHD, the potentially fatal phenomenon in bone marrow transplantations in which the graft attacks the host (the opposite of how it is understood in other organ transplants).

Acute GVHD is especially lethal; only 5 percent of patients with acute GVHD grade IV survive the complication.

In mouse models researchers were able to block the over-expression of this molecule and saw a decrease in the severity of aGVHD, so the question now becomes how to translate that knowledge to human patients.

Source: Medical News Today

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