Medical University of South Carolina researchers Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D. and Xue-Zhong Yu, M.D. talking to each other the lab
Emma Vought, Medical University of South Carolina
Natural Antioxidant Helps Improve Immune-based Therapies by Modulating T-cells
South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute

With support from the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) Institute, Medical University of South Carolina researchers Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D. (left)and Xue-Zhong Yu, M.D. (right)have shown that immune-based treatments, such as adoptive T-cell therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), can be improved by modulating T-cells with thioredoxin, a powerful, naturally occurring antioxidant molecule. 

In the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Mehrotra reports that thioredoxin extends the life of adoptive T-cells by neutralizing toxic reactive oxygen molecules (ROS), overcoming a major drawback of this cancer immunotherapy. Mehrotra received SCTR pilot project funding.

Yu, who studies the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after HSCT, used a mouse model to test the effect of thioredoxin on donor T-cells. He reports in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that thioredoxin decreased toxic ROS in donor T-cells and made them less reactive to the patient’s healthy tissues, thereby preventing GVHD. Co-authors of the article included SCTR TL1 scholars.

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