Kyoto University Team: No Rejection During Blood Transfusion

According to Eto of Kyoto University’s iPS Cell Research Institute,  succeeded in producing platelets that do not cause rejection during transfusion from iPS cells (artificial pluripotent stem cells) by using genome editing technology that can freely modify genes. Hiroyuki Koji’s team (hematology) and others announced. The paper was published in the US scientific journal Stem Cell Reports (electronic version).

Platelets contained in blood work to solidify the blood and are transfused to patients with intractable disease “aplastic anemia”, which makes bleeding easy. However, in about 5% of patients, rejection occurs in which immune cells attack platelets, and transfused platelets do not work. In order to prevent rejection, it is necessary to search for people who have the same type of immunity from all over the country and have them provide platelets.

To solve this problem, the team applied genome editing to iPS cells and removed some of the genes that determine the type of immunity. When platelets were made from these iPS cells and transfused into mice with rejection-type human blood, the platelets were not attacked by immune cells.

Apart from this study, the team is conducting a clinical study in which platelets are made from the patient’s own iPS cells and transfused. Although rejection does not occur with the cells of the individual, it is necessary to generate iPS cells for each patient. According to the new method, a single type of iPS cell will enable transfusion to many patients.

Professor Shinji Nakao and Dai Kanazawa (Hematology) said, “This is an effective treatment for patients who have difficulty finding blood that matches the type of immunity. The issue is whether platelets can be produced at low cost.”