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FDA News
FDA Scientists Discover Key Mechanism Regulating Immune Cell Actiivity

December 2, 1997
Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and

FDA researchers have discovered a key mechanism by which proteins, called chemokines, direct the traffic of immune cells in response to infections, cancer or other attacks on the body. These findings, published in the December 1 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, have important potential implications for the treatment of AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other serious medical conditions.

Researchers from FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Review (CBER) and the University of Sydney discovered how a protein known as CD26 that is present on the surface of certain white blood cells influences chemokines and either disables or activates them.

The FDA scientists propose that new therapies may be developed that change the impact that CD26 has on chemokines. These new treatments may help prevent infection with HIV and other pathogens, as well as treat or prevent other diseases in which chemokines have a major role.

The main authors of the study at FDA are Drs. Tamas Oravecz and Michael Norcross. At the University of Sydney, Dr. Mark Gorrell is the author.

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