A new protein, called aquaporin-4, is making waves and found to play a key role in brain inflammation, or encephalitis. This discovery is important as the first to identify a role for this protein in inflammation, opening doors for the development of new drugs that treat brain inflammation and other conditions at the cellular level rather than just treating the symptoms. This discovery was published in the May 2011 issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.faseb.org).
"Our study establishes a novel role for a water channel, aquaporin-4, in neuroinflammation, as well as a cell-level mechanism," said Alan S. Verkman, M.D., Ph.D., a senior researcher involved in the work from the Department of Medicine and the Department of Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. "Our data suggest that inhibition or down-regulation of aquaporin-4 expression in brain and spinal cord may offer a new therapeutic option in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica and other conditions associated with neuroinflammation."
Scientists compared normal mice and mice without genes for producing aquaporin-4 using a model of brain inflammation. These experiments showed significantly reduced brain inflammation in the mice that did not produce aquaporin-4. Researchers then systematically investigated the various possible causes of this reduced neuroinflammation and surprisingly found that aquaporin-4 deletion causes the brain to be less susceptible to inflammation, involving differences in astrocyte reaction to stress. The involvement of aquaporin-4 in brain inflammation provides a new determinant and better understanding of how the brain responses to inflammatory stresses. This suggests that using drugs or other agents that target this protein may be effective for treating a variety of conditions associated with brain or spinal cord inflammation.
"This a new lead in our efforts to stem inflammation in the brain," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "The importance of water movement in and out of cells cannot be understated, and this paper helps to clarify what has otherwise been a muddy view of aquaporins."
Receive monthly highlights from The FASEB Journal by e-mail. Sign up at http://www.faseb.org/fjupdate.aspx. The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011. Over the past quarter century, the journal has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century and is the most cited biology journal worldwide according to the Institute for Scientific Information.
FASEB comprises 23 societies with more than 100,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. FASEB enhances the ability of scientists and engineers to improve—through their research—the health, well-being and productivity of all people. FASEB's mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.
Details: Lihua Li, Hua Zhang, Michel Varrin-Doyer, Scott S. Zamvil, and A. S. Verkman. Proinflammatory role of aquaporin-4 in autoimmune neuroinflammation. FASEB J May 2011 25:1556-1566; doi:10.1096/fj.10-177279 ; http://www.fasebj.org/content/25/5/1556.abstract
Cody Mooneyhan | EurekAlert!
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News