Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Circulating Immune Cells as Biomarkers for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

02.09.2016

Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), have discovered that the number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) is increased in the blood of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The higher the number of MDSC, the more limited the lung function. The findings on this new biomarker have now been published in the ‘European Respiratory Journal’.

Patients with fibrotic lung diseases*, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), show progressive worsening of lung function with increased shortness of breath and dry cough. To-date, this process is irreversible, which is why scientists are searching for novel biomarkers or indicators, which enable earlier diagnosis of this disease, with the aim to better interfere with disease progression.


Staining of surface molecules (CD11 in red, CD33 in green) on cells in lung tissue, nuclei in blue. MDSC are positive for both surface markers and consequently appear orange (arrow).

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

A team of scientists at the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) at Helmholtz Zentrum München headed by Professor Oliver Eickelberg, Chairman of the CPC and Director of the Institute of Lung Biology as well as the DZL at the Munich partner site, have now discovered that myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC)** may serve as such biomarkers. “The role of MDSC has been most extensively studied in cancer, where they suppress the immune system and contribute to a poor prognosis,” explained first author Isis Fernandez, MD. The current study suggests that similar mechanisms are also at work in IPF.

In collaboration with the Department of Internal Medicine V (Director: Professor Jürgen Behr) of the Munich University Hospital, the team examined blood samples of 170 study participants, including 69 IPF patients, in terms of the composition of circulating immune cell types. In each patient, these were correlated with lung function. Strikingly, the MDSC count in IPF patients was significantly higher than in the healthy control group. At the same time, the researchers observed that there was an inverse correlation between lung function and circulating MDSC counts: the poorer the lung function, the higher the MDSC count. In control groups of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other interstitial lung diseases, this inverse correlation was not found. “We conclude that the number of MDSC reflects the course of the disease, especially in IPF,” said Fernandez.

To obtain an indication of whether the cells themselves could be the cause of the deterioration in lung function, the researchers measured the activity of genes that are typically expressed by immune cells. They found that these genes were expressed less frequently in samples that exhibited high MDSC counts. This indicates that MDSC – similar to their role in cancer – also compromise the immune system in IPF, according to the scientists.

A look into the lung tissue of IPF patients supports this assumption. “We were able to show that MDSC are primarily found in fibrotic niches of IPF lungs characterized by increased interstitial tissue and scarring, that is, in regions where the disease is very pronounced,” said Eickelberg. “As a next step, we seek to investigate whether the presence of MDSC can serve as a biomarker to detect IPF and to determine how pronounced it is.” In addition, the researchers want to investigate the mechanisms of accumulation in more detail. “Controlling accumulation or expansion of MDSC or blocking their suppressive functions may represent a promising treatment options for patients with IPF,” said Eickelberg.

Further Information

Background:
*Fibrotic lung diseases are characterized by an increase of connective tissue in the lung, which hardens and becomes scarred. This stiffening is accompanied by a disturbed regeneration of the lung which in turn is associated with deteriorating lung function. The quality of life for these the patients is significantly limited.

**Myeloid-derived suppressor cells are a heterogeneous group of immune cells of the hematopoietic system, which in the healthy system play a role in tissue renewal and immune response.

Original Publication:
Fernandez, I. et al. (2016). Peripheral blood myeloid-derived suppressor cells reflect disease status in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, European Respiratory Journal, DOI: 10.1183/13993003.01826-2015
http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2016/08/31/13993003.01826-2015

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,300 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/index.html

The Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) is a joint research project of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität with its University Hospital and the Asklepios Fachkliniken München-Gauting. The CPC's objective is to conduct research on chronic lung diseases in order to develop new diagnosis and therapy strategies. The CPC maintains a focus on experimental pneumology with the investigation of cellular, molecular and immunological mechanisms involved in lung diseases. The CPC is one of five sites of the German Center for Lung Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Lungenforschung, DZL). http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/ilbd/index.html

Munich University Hospital (LMU) treats around 500,000 outpatients, inpatients and semi-residential patients each year at its Großhadern and City Centre Campuses. Just over 2,000 beds are available to its 28 specialist clinics, twelve institutes and seven departments, and its 47 interdisciplinary centres. Of a total of 9,500 employees, around 1,600 are doctors and 3,200 are nursing staff. Munich University Hospital has been a public-law institution since 2006. Together with the Medical Faculty of Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich University Hospital is involved in four special research areas of the German Research Foundation (SFB 684, 914, 1054, 1123), three Transregios (TRR 127, 128, 152) belonging to Clinical Research Group 809, and two Graduate Colleges belonging to the German Research Foundation (GK 1091, 1202). This is in addition to the Center for Integrated Protein Sciences (CIPSM), Munich Center of Advanced Photonics (MAP), Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) and Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy) – all institutes of excellence – and the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN-LMU), the Graduate School of Quantitative Biosciences Munich (QBM) and the Graduate School Life Science Munich (LSM). http://www.klinikum.uni-muenchen.de

The German Center for Lung Research (DZL) pools German expertise in the field of pulmonology research and clinical pulmonology. The association’s head office is in Giessen. The aim of the DZL is to find answers to open questions in research into lung diseases by adopting an innovative, integrated approach and thus to make a sizeable contribution to improving the prevention, diagnosis and individualized treatment of lung disease and to ensure optimum patient care. http://www.dzl.de/index.php/en

Contact for the media:
Department of Communication, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 3187 2238 - Fax: +49 89 3187 3324 - E-mail: presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Scientific contact at Helmholtz Zentrum München:
Prof. Dr. Oliver Eickelberg, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Comprehensive Pneumology Center, Max-Lebsche-Platz 31, 81377 München, Tel. +49 89 3187 4666 - E-mail: oliver.eickelberg@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Sonja Opitz | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

Further reports about: CPC DZL Environmental Health Helmholtz MDSC lung diseases lung function

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

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

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>