Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Offers Clues to Origins of Autoimmune Diseases

04.10.2005


Researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center have discovered a mechanism in the body that could lead to autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes. The research team, led by John Cambier, Ph.D., found that potentially harmful B cells circulating in the body are not permanently silenced as previously thought; they can awaken and regain the ability to launch an attack against the body’s own tissue. The findings were published online October 2 by Nature Immunology.



"Keeping self-reactive B cells in a quiescent state is crucial for the prevention of autoimmunity," said Dr. Cambier, Professor and Chairman of the Integrated Department of Immunology at National Jewish and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "Our findings show how these cells can be reactivated and suggest lines of research that may lead to therapies for autoimmune diseases."

B cells are part of the immune system. When properly stimulated, they produce antibodies, which bind to foreign molecules and neutralize them or target the cells they are part of for destruction. The body, in its attempt to protect against any foreign invader, produces a huge variety of B cells, each capable of recognizing a different molecule, also called an antigen.


However, in the course of generating such a variety of B cells, the immune system also produces ones that recognize normal components of the body as antigens. Were those cells to become activated, they would initiate an attack against the body’s own tissue. Fortunately, these cells are sent into a sort of suspended animation, known as anergy, when they encounter the antigen but fail to receive additional signals necessary to activate their antibody-producing machinery.

For years, scientists have thought that one encounter with an antigen would send a B cell into permanent anergy. Dr. Cambier and his colleagues showed, however, that self-reactive B cells need constant stimulation by their antigen to remain anergic, and that removing the antigen allows them to regain their normal, ready state.

The researchers suggest that an active infection could draw a self-reactive B cell to a lymphoid organ, such as the tonsils or a lymph node, where there may be no antigen to silence it. There, a robust immune/inflammatory response to the bacterial infection could activate this dangerous B cell and cause it to trigger an autoimmune disease.

"There have been reports linking the onset of autoimmunity with a preceding bacterial infection," said Stephen Gauld, Ph.D., lead author and post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Cambier’s lab. "We are now conducting experiments to determine the role of pro-inflammatory or bacterial products in the loss of B-cell anergy. We are also seeking to better understand the intracellular events that lead to anergy and its loss. Either of these lines of research could uncover potential targets for autoimmune therapy."

William Allstetter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.njc.org

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>