Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough in immunology research: How much can a cell uptake?

02.03.2011
A new study from the Department of Biology at the University of Haifa has found how the "decision making" process works in cells that play a role in the healing of infection: The numbers count

Immunological research at the University of Haifa, Israel, has made a new breakthrough, revealing a critical component in the "decision-making" process of white blood cells that play a role in the healing process from bacterial inflammation.

"The process that we have discovered can assist in the development of drugs that are based on the natural processes that take place in the human body, unlike most of the existing drugs that attempt to curb inflammation by artificial means," explains Dr. Amiram Ariel of the Department of Biology at the University of Haifa, who headed the study. The research and its results have been published in the scientific journal European Journal of Immunology.

Bacterial inflammation forms in the body when bacteria (pathogens) penetrate body tissue. In response, specific types of white blood cells (neutrophils) begin to fight the invaders, to destroy and remove them from the tissue. In normal conditions, inflammation is terminated once the cells have managed to eradicate the bacteria and then undergo programmed cell death. At that point, another type of white blood cells come on stage – macrophages – whose job it is to take up the dead cells (the neutrophils) and to restore the tissue to its normal functioning state. While the macrophages feast on their cell meal, they gain the ability to begin the tissue's rehabilitation process. However, at one point they abandon the tissue and make their way over to immune system organs, via the lymphatic system, where they deliver the "back to routine" message to the rest of the immune system. This message is important for the body's return to normal functioning. Until now, however, the when and how that directs macrophages' leaving the inflamed tissue remained unknown.

Dr. Ariel explains that even when the body manages to cope with the bacterial invaders, there is also the danger of "excessive" healing that will result infibrosis and scar formation. This happens when the system reels out of control and "over-heals" the previously infected area. Fibrosis can lead to malfunctioning of the healing tissue, tissue death and sometimes even mortality. To understand why this happens, it is important to identify and understand the way macrophages' govern the healing process.

The current study, conducted by Dr. Ariel alongside a team of students led by Dr. Sagie Schif-Zuck, set out to probe the critical stage of the healing process, when the macrophages decide to relocate and adjust their healing activities, moving from local rehabilitation of the damaged tissue to shut down of systemic immune responses at organs of the immune system.

The researchers discovered that the macrophages have a fascinating "uptake threshold" of seven cells. After engulfing seven neutrophils they are "licensed" to leave the tissue and continue with their remote tasks. The research also found that these cells are sensitive to the tissue's healing pace, so that when the tissue is healing quicker, they are permitted to leave earlier, and when the tissue is finding it harder to repair itself, they hang around longer, even after reaching the uptake threshold of seven cells. The researchers also discovered substances that "inform" the cells on the tissue's rate of repair, and found that by injecting these substances, the macrophages' transition to immune organs is accelerated while new macrophages are recruited to further treat the damaged tissue and continue the healing process. In addition, the study revealed that as they leave the tissue, the macrophages undergo molecular changes necessary to carry out their new functions in the lymphatic system.

"Our new study has found a major event in the inflammatory healing process that is responsible for the transition of macrophages from local rehabilitation of the damaged tissue to its consequent role in promoting the immune system's return to routine. The findings from our study can assist in the development of biological drugs that are based on the body's natural processes and biomolecules. Today, most drugs are designed to block particular pathways in the inflammatory process, which is also a "fight back" strategy found in bacteria and viruses; but in many cases, the body relates to such a drug as a type of 'bacterial invasion', finds ways to circumvent it and produces an alternative immunological response to the blocked one. By harnessing the natural healing process that we have discovered, the body will be able to naturally complete and terminate all the inflammatory processes, and will be able to avoid the deficiencies of existing anti-inflammatory treatments," Dr. Ariel concludes.

For more details contact Rachel Feldman • Tel: +972-4-8288722

Communications and Media Relations
University of Haifa
press@univ.haifa.ac.il

Rachel Feldman | University of Haifa
Further information:
http://www.haifa.ac.il

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

nachricht Snap, Digest, Respire
20.01.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

20.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>