Biology 466    Unsolved Problems Fall 2010

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

How to invent cures for Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus Erythematosus,
& other autoimmune diseases.
(please invent three more)


I) Break free of the myths about "recognizing self": At best, they are consequences, but not causes of auto-immunity. Anti-self lymphocytes normally have been killed.


II) Reactivate the normal self-tolerance mechanism that acts during embryonic development, to kill, induce apoptosis, inactivate, desensitize, "reprogram" or hide all lymphocytes whose antibodies or other binding sites happen to fit molecules present in high enough concentrations in your body.


III) Discover the equivalent of an adjuvant substance, that stimulates destruction of lymphocytes, analogous to how the adjuvants used in vaccines (alum salt, irritant oils, etc) stimulate activation and division of lymphocytes whose binding sites fit whatever proteins or other chemicals are co-injected with the adjuvants.


IV) Synthesize chemicals that have multiple sites with the same shapes as the "self" antigen (molecule) that is being attacked by the victim's immune system. This will cross-link the anti-self lymphocytes.


V) Covalently bind some poisonous or intensely radioactive chemical to synthetic analogs of whichever "self" molecules ("antigens") are being attacked


VI) Implant gels, sponges or inert solids to which you covalently bind millions of synthetic analogs of, for example, myelin basic protein, or single stranded DNA.

These objects would be left inside the body for a few weeks or months; long enough for the "bad" lymphocytes to bind to them, crawl into their pores etc.

Then the implanted object would be surgically removed, carrying with it some large percentage of the bad lymphocytes.


VII) Isolate the anti-self antibodies, or the anti-self T lymphocyte receptors. Enzymatically cut these into fragments, searching for any consistent amino-acid sequences, peculiar to the disease-causing binding sites. Then mix these with ordinary adjuvants, thus making a vaccine against autoimmune lymphocytes.








Never lose track of your goal, which is selective removal of just those lymphocytes whose binding sites fit a normal molecule of your body.


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