Boffins discover why ‘rogue’ blood cells run amok after major ops

Research by scientists may soon lead to a breakthrough treating patients recovering from major surgery who sometimes end up with organ damage elsewhere in the body.

A study by scientists at London University’s Queen Mary college in Whitechapel has found that some ‘rogue’ white cells sometimes seemed to “loose their way” after defending damaged organs against injury or infection and go back into the bloodstream and run amuk.

“We could see them move back into blood vessels with the imaging technique we developed,” explained Prof Sussan Nourshargh.

“These neutrophils which are inappropriately ‘switched on’ are fully capable of causing damage to other organs.”

They found these “confused but highly activated cells” often lodged in the lungs where they caused inflammation.

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Further research on these ‘rogue’ cells could lead to new drugs to reduce life-threatening complications such as inflammation of the lungs.

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