Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VCU study shows hormone-like molecule kills cells that cause inflammation in allergic disease

25.08.2005


Virginia Commonwealth University immunologists studying mast cells, known to play a central role in asthma and allergic disease, have identified a hormone-like molecule that can kill these cells by programming them to die in studies with mice.



The findings move researchers another step closer to understanding the life cycle of mast cells, and may help researchers develop new treatments for allergy and inflammatory responses in arthritis, multiple sclerosis and heart disease.

In the Journal of Immunology, published online Aug. 23, researchers demonstrated the means by which a cytokine called interferon gamma (IFNy) induces death of developing mast cells in a mouse model system. Although IFNy induced cell death in developing mast cells, it did not affect the survival of mast cells that had already undergone differentiation.


“We believe that cytokines, such as interferon gamma, are an important means of controlling mast cell function in the body,” said John J. Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at VCU and lead author of the study. “Because mast cells cause inflammation, regulating how many mast cells the body makes, where they go, what they do, and when they die can have a huge impact on health and disease.

“For example, there has been one report of a patient with mastocytosis, which is a type of pre-leukemia where mast cells proliferate abnormally, that showed improvement with IFNy treatment,” he said. “It is possible that other mast cell-related diseases, such as asthma, may respond to IFNy treatment.”

According to Ryan, mast cells are packed with granules containing histamine and are present in nearly all tissues except blood. When mast cells are activated, inflammatory substances such as histamine, heparin and a number of cytokines are rapidly released into the tissues and blood, promoting an allergic reaction.

Mast cells are believed to be generated by different precursor cells in the bone marrow. In the in vitro portion of the study, researchers used mouse bone marrow cells containing the stem cells that give rise to mast cells. They cultured these precursor cells in conditions that allow mast cells to develop, and then added IFNy to some of these cultures. A high rate of cell death yielding no living mast cells was observed in the cultures that received IFNy.

Similar results were reported in vivo using a mouse model. Mice with a mutation that causes them to overproduce IFNy were used, and again, researchers observed a significant decrease in mast cell numbers due to the excess of IFNy. When researchers tried to culture mast cells from the bone marrow of these mice, the mast cells died.

Furthermore, a separate strain of mice with the same mutation as the first strain, but that had also been engineered to prevent IFNy production, were found to have almost as many mast cells as normal mice, if not more. They concluded that the presence of high IFNy levels blocked mast cell development.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Ryan collaborated with colleagues in the VCU Department of Biology, and the Department of Biochemistry at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center: Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, Va., Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked nationally by the Carnegie Foundation as a top research institution and enrolls more than 28,500 students in more than 181 certificate, undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral programs in the arts, sciences and humanities in 15 schools and one college. Forty of the university’s programs are unique in Virginia, and 20 graduate and professional programs have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best of their kind. MCV Hospitals, clinics and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the leading academic medical centers in the country.

Sathya Achia-Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>