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 Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>