Vaccination with Heat-Shocked Mononuclear Cells as a Strategy for Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders Driven by Microglial Inflammation

Proteins produced in heat-stressed cells, known as heat-shock proteins, can promote the activation of a type of immune cell – T regulatory lymphocytes – that functions physiologically to suppress inflammation. By exposing human blood cells to a survivable heat stress in the laboratory, and then injecting them into patients with autoimmune diseases or other inflammatory disorders, it is possible to vaccinate patients with heat shock proteins, thereby activating T regulatory lymphocytes that suppress their inflammation. This strategy may have potential for treating various neurodegenerative disorders – such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease – as well as major depression, which may be driven or exacerbated by inflammation in certain regions of the central nervous system.

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