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 Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>