SLE is an autoimmune disease, with symptoms of varying severity including include painful or swollen joints, unexplained fever and extreme fatigue. An estimated 2 million Americans—9 out of 10 of them female—live with SLE.
The primary job of the immune system is to identify and vanquish potentially dangerous infectious pathogens. Autoimmune diseases develop when immune system instead unleashes this potent defense system against the individual’s own tissues, with predictably severe consequences.
Unlike other autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, in which the immune response is focused on certain tissues, SLE is a systemic disease in which abnormal antibodies are produced that injure a variety of tissues and organs, including the skin, heart, lungs and kidneys.
The cause of SLE is not well understood, but recent work by a Jackson Laboratory research team led by Professor Derry Roopenian is shedding light on how the disease develops and offers hope for better therapies.
Interleukin 21 (IL21) is produced as part of the response by immune cells known as T cells. The IL21 produced then affects a variety of cells in the normal immune system response. However, IL21 produced in overabundance by individuals susceptible to SLE can cause the defense mechanism to misfire and produce antibodies that attack the individual’s own tissues.
Dr. Roopenian and colleagues at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases worked with a mouse model for SLE and demonstrated that IL21 signaling is essential for the SLE-like autoimmune disease to progress. Mice deficient in the cellular receptor for IL21 that were otherwise genetically identical remained healthy and exhibited none of the disease symptoms.
“The findings provide strong clue towards understanding how SLE occurs and a clear indication of the importance of Interleukin 21 signaling in lupus like diseases”, Dr. Roopenian says. “They suggest that interrupting Interleukin 21 signaling events may prove to be an effective therapeutic option for human SLE.”
The Jackson Laboratory (www.jax.org) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, California. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community. The Laboratory is the world's source for more than 4,000 strains of genetically defined mice, is home of the mouse genome database and is an international hub for scientific courses, conferences, training and education.
A critical role for IL-21 receptor signaling in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus in BXSB-Yaa mice: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scheduled for Early Edition publication Jan. 19-23, 2009.
Joyce Peterson | Newswise Science News
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences