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Aptamers as allergy treatment

Tuesday October 31st, 2017

RNA aptamers are showing promise as a treatment for contact allergy, German researchers have reported.

Researchers have produced an aptamer than can bind to a key signalling substance, CCL17, they have reported.

So far the treatment has been tested on laboratory mice and the researchers say this has led to a “far weaker” inflammatory response to contact with an allergen.

The effect is to limit the activity of the CCR4 receptor of T cells, they say.

The researchers, from the University of Bonn, have reported their findings in Molecular Therapy.

They say their work is enabling them to explore how the immune system behaves during allergic reactions.

They say a slightly different aptamer will need to be developed to tackle human CCL17.

Chemist Dr Günter Mayer said: "At present, we are able to produce aptamers comparatively simple and fast, with an astounding specificity for certain target structures."

Fellow researcher Professor Irmgard Förster said: “This way, we were able to partly block the migration of T cells to the dendritic cells. Mice treated with the aptamer therefore showed a far weaker inflammatory response to a contact allergen.”

RNA aptamers recognizing murine CCL17 inhibit T cell chemotaxis and reduce contact hypersensitivity in vivo Molecular Therapy October 2017; doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2017.10.005

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Europe | Genetics

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