Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Jamming in tumours

29.01.2014
How an immune molecule makes cancer cells starve

Formation of Interferon-beta (IFN-β) is increased in infections and cancer diseases. Consequently, it is often administered therapeutically. Amongst other things, it prevents formation of new blood vessels within a tumour, thus inhibiting its growth.


Fluorescence image showing a neutrophil (in red) going out of the blood vessel (in green) into a tumour. These immune cells facilitate tumour vessel growth.

HZI/Jablonska-Koch

Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) have now discovered that IFN-β does so by impeding the communication between cancer tissue and immune cells. Their findings, published in the scientific magazine “International Journal of Cancer”, help to understand how this “jamming” can be used therapeutically.

Just like healthy cells, tumour cells need nutrients and oxygen in order to survive. For this reason, a tumour of a certain size has to ensure that it is connected to the blood circulation. In doing this, it is supported by cells of the innate immune system, the neutrophil granulocytes or brief neutrophils, which are supposed to protect the body against pathogens.

Neutrophils normally circulate in the blood until—attracted by so-called chemokines—they enter the tissue where they ingest and destroy intruding pathogens. In addition, these cells are able to trigger the formation of blood vessels. Presumably, this is how they help to repair tissue which has been destroyed by inflammation. However, neutrophils are also able to enter cancer tissue and contribute to its connection to the blood supply. This is probably the reason why detection of numerous neutrophils in a tumour is a sign of unfavourable patient prognosis.

IFN-β is used as a treatment for some tumours such as melanomas and leukaemia. Scientists at the HZI in Braunschweig had shown recently that this messenger molecule can interfere with cancer growth by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels. However, the way it does so remained a puzzle.

Now, researchers have succeeded in revealing the effect of IFN-β on migration of pro-tumour neutrophils. “We wanted to understand why IFN-β prevents the neutrophils from entering the tumour,” says Dr Jadwiga Jablonska-Koch, scientist in the “Molecular Immunology” department at the HZI. “This would be the way for physicians to improve existing therapies and choose appropriate treatment for the individual patient.”

To this end, the scientists followed the interaction between the cells. Messenger molecules such as chemokines are a means of communication frequently used for this purpose. They are produced by cells and bind to correspondingly shaped surface receptors. In the case of neutrophils, this is the receptor called CXCR2. It binds the chemokines CXCL1, CXCL2 and CXCL5. “We have seen that the concentration of the chemokines in the bone marrow, where the neutrophils originate, is low,” says Dr Siegfried Weiss, head of the department in which Jablonska-Koch works. “On the other hand, we find a high concentration in the tumour, which attracts the neutrophils.” Neutrophils migrate along the chemokine gradient into the tumour and once there, they themselves release the same chemokines in order to attract other neutrophils to obtain more support.

IFN-β interferes with this communication: it makes the cells in the tumour produce fewer chemokines and no chemokine gradient is formed. “That way, fewer neutrophils enter the cancer tissue and fewer new blood vessels are formed,” says Jablonska-Koch. “The tumour is not effectively connected to the vital blood supply and cannot grow efficiently.” For that reason it is of therapeutical benefit to administer IFN-β additionally. “We now better understand why IFN-β helps in some cancers and that it is an important part of the body’s own system for combating tumours,” says Weiss. Their findings could help physicians to assess which patients might profit from administering IFN-β and when neutrophils ought to be an objective of cancer therapy.

Original publication
Jadwiga Jablonska, Ching-Fang Wu, Lisa Andzinski, Sara Leschner, Siegfried Weiß
CXCR2-mediated tumor associated neutrophil recruitment is regulated by IFN-β
International Journal of Cancer, 2013 DOI 10.1002/ijc.28551
The focus of HZI's Molecular Immunology Department is to investigate the role of signaling molecules used by the immune system. One of the primary research goals is to determine how immune cells communicate with each other during an infection and which messenger substances they use for this purpose.
The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany, are engaged in the study of different mechanisms of infection and of the body’s response to infection. Helping to improve the scientific community’s understanding of a given bacterium’s or virus’ pathogenicity is key to developing effective new treatments and vaccines.

http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de

Dr. Birgit Manno | Helmholtz-Zentrum
Further information:
http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de
http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/en/news_events/news/view/article/complete/jamming_in_tumours/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>