Researchers at FAU discover important mechanism involved in the resolution of inflammations
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common autoimmune disease of the joints. It causes a chronic inflammatory response, with the body’s own immune cells attacking the joint, including the cartilage and bone. This process does not cease spontaneously.
An international research team headed by the rheumatologist Dr Andreas Ramming at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now managed to identify an immune system cell type that can be used in a targeted attempt to control the inflammatory response in arthritis patients.
The results obtained by the research team at Department of Medicine 3 – Rheumatology and Immunology of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen – have been published in ‘Nature Medicine’.
In Germany some 800,000 people, preliminarily women, suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This causes persistent inflammation that damages the joints and bones. Patients suffer pain and experience restrictions in terms of their mobility. “A particularly worrying aspect for those affected is the fact that the inflammatory response in joints is exceptionally chronic and thus usually requires lifelong treatment,” explains Prof. Georg Schett, director of the Department of Medicine 3.
Cells known as innate lymphoid cells usually manage the resolution of inflammations.
However, to date, little has been known about how inflammations clear up and why this process does not work in those suffering from rheumatism. Now a joint project involving researchers in London, Barcelona, Zurich, Indianapolis and Dublin has now enabled the researchers in Erlangen to solve this mystery. According to Simon Rauber, an immunologist in Erlangen and primary author of the study, a previously inadequately studied cell population of the immune system called innate lymphoid cells plays a major role in the resolution of inflammations.
It seems that innate lymphoid cells go into a kind of ‘hibernation’ in patients with rheumatism.
“In patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, these innate lymphoid cells are in a state of what can be described as hibernation and as a result the inflammation persists. When innate lymphoid cells are ‘woken up’, this puts a stop to the inflammation and to the damage to the joint,” adds principal investigator Dr Ramming. The discovery of this important mechanism could provide the opportunity to develop completely new options for treating chronic inflammatory diseases.
New forms of treatment monitoring
Even at this stage, measuring the number of innate lymphoid cells in the blood makes it possible to provide a prognosis of the effects of treatment. If there are few innate lymphoid cells in the blood, the disease will flare up and the joint will be further damaged. However, resolution of inflammation is associated with an elevation in the number of these cells. The measurement of blood levels makes it possible to initiate individual, more targeted treatment at an early stage, thus preventing another flare-up of the disease. “These findings will make it possible to significantly improve the quality of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in future with the help of innate lymphoid cells,” says Dr Ramming.
Together against inflammation
“Collaborative Research Centre 1181 at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and the priority programme ‘Innate Lymphoid Cells’ (SPP 1937) of the German Research Foundation (DFG) have made a decisive contribution to revealing this central immunological mechanism involved in the resolution of inflammations,” concludes Prof. Schett. The results of this study have been published in the journal Nature Medicine in an article entitled ‘Resolution of inflammation by interleukin-9-producing type 2 innate lymphoid cells’ (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.4373).
Dr. Andreas Ramming
Phone: +49 9131 8539109
Dr. Susanne Langer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences