The researchers expected that knocking out the IL-13 receptor would increase inflammation and cause neuronal loss to get even worse. Instead, neurons got better.
“We were very surprised at first,” said Conti. “When we stopped to think, we got very excited because we understood that there was something new going on.”
Given that cells fared better without the receptor, the team next explored whether damage occurred when dopaminergic neurons that express IL-13Rá1 were exposed to IL-13 or IL-4. But exposure to IL-13 or IL-4 alone did not induce damage.
However, when the scientists exposed the neurons to oxidative compounds, they found that both IL-13 and IL-4 greatly enhanced the cytotoxic effects of oxidative stress.“This finally helps us understand a basic mechanism of the increased susceptibility and preferential loss of dopaminergic neurons to oxidative stress associated with neuroinflammation,” said Marcondes.
And, though not definitive, other studies have suggested that Parkinson’s disease might be more common among allergy sufferers. Since IL-13 plays a role in controlling allergic inflammation, Conti wonders if the IL-13 receptor system might explain this correlation.
If further research confirms the IL-13 receptor acts in a similar way in human dopaminergic neurons as in mice, the discovery could pave the way to addressing the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers might, for instance, find that drugs that block IL-13 receptors are useful in preventing loss of dopaminergic cells during neuroinflammation. And, since the IL-13 receptor forms a complex with the IL-4 receptor alpha, this might also be a target of interest. With much exciting research ahead, Conti said, “This is just the beginning.”
This research was funded by the Ellison Medical Foundation; National Institutes of Health grants AG028040 and DA030908; and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
In addition to Morrison, Marcondes and Conti, the other authors on the paper, “IL-13Rá1 expression in dopaminergic neurons contributes to their oxidative stress-mediated loss following chronic systemic treatment with LPS,” were Daniel Nomura, Manuel Sanchez-Alavez, Alejandro Sanchez-Gonzalez, Indrek Saar, and Tamas Bartfai, from TSRI, Kwang-Soo Kim from Harvard University, Pamela Maher from the Salk Research Institute, and Shuei Sugama from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo.About The Scripps Research Institute
Jann Coury | EurekAlert!
Newly discovered 'multicomponent' virus can infect animals
26.08.2016 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
Symmetry crucial for building key biomaterial collagen in the lab
26.08.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...
Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.
In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...
Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.
Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...
A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.
25.08.2016 | Event News
24.08.2016 | Event News
12.08.2016 | Event News
26.08.2016 | Health and Medicine
26.08.2016 | Earth Sciences
26.08.2016 | Life Sciences