Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Natural method for clearing cellular debris provides new targets for lupus treatment

24.02.2012
Cells that die naturally generate a lot of internal debris that can trigger the immune system to attack the body, leading to diseases such as lupus.
Now Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report that an enzyme known to help keep a woman's immune system from attacking a fetus also helps block development of these autoimmune diseases that target healthy tissues, such as DNA or joints.

The findings point toward new treatment strategies for autoimmune diseases, which are on the rise in light of a germ-conscious society that regularly destroys many of the previously pervasive microbes that made the immune system more tolerant.

"The basic premise of lupus is you have lost normal tolerance to yourself, your own proteins and DNA," said Dr. Tracy L. McGaha, GHSU immunologist and corresponding author of the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They found that IDO, or indoleomine 2,3-dioxegenase, helps promote tolerance to debris generated by natural cell death and that when IDO is removed from the mix, the debris spurs an immune response that can trigger autoimmune disease. In mice genetically programmed to develop lupus, blocking IDO resulted in earlier, more aggressive disease.

"This connects IDO and macrophages. It's a newly described role for IDO in regulation of tolerance toward self," McGaha said. Consequently, increasing IDO production or its downstream effects might be a way to regain lost tolerance, he said.

They studied activity in the spleen, a hard-working immune organ, that constantly filters blood. In a perfectly orchestrated defense, the entrance to the spleen is surrounded by immune cells that scour blood for viruses, bacteria, even fat and cholesterol floating by.

A nearby subset of macrophages, which are essentially scavengers, then capture and consume the undesirables, McGaha said. Interestingly, a lot of what macrophages consume is dead immune cells.

Macrophages also appear to help keep the peace by preventing the immune system from joining the fray. McGaha earlier found that if he destroyed macrophages, then fed the spleen dead cells, there was inflammation instead of calm. "That tells us there is something inherent in this subset of macrophages that is important for the suppressive process," McGaha said referencing the paper published in 2011 in the journal Blood.

The new paper shows IDO is part of that "something." Efficient elimination of cell debris while keeping nearby immune cells quiet is important because some debris is known to grab the attention of the immune system, McGaha said. He noted that it's normal – and healthy – for damaged cells to become targets.

"We are really interested in this process of normal cell debris removal because in lupus, it's thought to be one of the main drivers of inflammation," he said.

The immune system has points of expansion and regulation where it decides whether or not to act. Knowing key points, such as IDO's regulatory role, provides treatment targets that can interrupt a destructive cascade of immune activity, McGaha said. Previous studies have shown evidence of self-attack is present many years before disease symptoms appear, he said.

Environmental assaults, such as a bad sunburn, can be the initial trigger of the abnormal immune response in diseases like lupus. In healthy individuals, the immune system rises to the occasion of an infection then goes back to baseline. In autoimmune disease, patients tend not to return to normal levels.

GHSU's Drs. Andrew Mellor and David Munn reported in 1998 in the journal Science that the fetus expresses IDO to help avoid rejection by the mother's immune system. Subsequent studies have shown tumors also use it and that it could help transplanted organs escape rejection. They suggested that McGaha look at IDO as a regulatory mechanism used by macrophages.

Toni Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.georgiahealth.edu

Further reports about: DNA Health Sciences IDO autoimmune disease immune cell immune response immune system

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

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

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

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>