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February 10, 1995 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-02-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR:
PARTNERS FOR GOOD HEALTH

undergoing small-scale trials in
Belgium. The scientists found
that vaccinating with too many
attenuated cells might aggravate
and not cure the disease — a
warning that dosages for human
T-cell therapy must be carefully
monitored.
In a second discovery guided
by the model, the researchers
showed that, contrary to what
might be expected, injecting large
quantities of untreated disease-
causing T cells into an animal
can depress rather than aggra-
vate an already existing autoim-
mune condition. This finding
could help explain why individ-
uals who experience an acute T
cell-mediated autoimmune at-
tack, such as those occurring in
multiple sclerosis, may subse-
quently enjoy a long remission or
even recovery.
In designing their model, Pro-
fessor Segel and Ms. Jaeger used
what they call a "reverse engi-
neering" approach — reproduc-
ing several of the most
fundamental aspects of autoim-
mune disease and T-cell vacci-
nation, while ignoring the
detailed operation of the immune
system. A simple pair of mathe-
matical equations culd then be
constructed describing the pro-
liferation of disease-causing, or
effector, cell populations and of
other cell populations which reg-
ulate effector cell proliferation —
and are, in turn, influenced by
them.

In fact, 80 percent
never developed the
diabetes.

The model correctly describes
major aspects of autoimmune
disease, namely, that a relative-
ly lame dose of effector cells leads
to disease; a suitably smaller dose
of these cells leads to vaccination;
and once the animal is vaccinat-
ed, the same dose that would pre-
viously have led to disease no
longer does so.
"But," Professor Cohen says,
"what's the point of just repro-
ducing known results? The an-
swer is that once you build the
little mathematical machine that
reproduces the known results,
the machine takes on a 'mind of
its own' and does other things as
well, such as suggesting the dis-
coveries that were found in solid
animal experimentation."
To test the predictions of this
model, Professor Cohen and
colleagues studied the develop-
ment of juvenile diabetes in a
strain of mice that spontaneous-
ly develop this disease, with sug-
ar levels in the blood of the
animals soaring at about 15
weeks of age. The Weizmann im-
munologists found that injecting
one to five million effector cells

AUTOIMMUNE page 72

Seth Mindell, M.D. and David Rosman, M.D.

Dedicated to health maintenance
and disease prevention, Dr. Seth
Mindell and Dr. David Rosman
treat adults and teenagers over
the age of fourteen. They provide
comprehensive physical examina-
tions and medical care for minor
or major health problems, from
headaches to heart disease, colds

to cancer, high blood pressure
and diabetes.
Both Dr. Mindell and Dr.
Rosman offer individual health
counseling and encourage their
patients to actively participate
in their own health maintenance.

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