Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Immune response depends on key molecule: Research

01.04.2003


In a new study published in the April 1, 2003 issue of Genes and Development, scientists at University Health Network’s Advanced Medical Discovery Institute (AMDI)/Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) have shown that a molecule called caspase-8 plays a key role in the immune system response, by controlling how T-cells are activated to respond to infections.

T-cells are white blood cells that recognize and fight off viruses and bacteria. When T-cells encounter these foreign invaders they build up a T-cell "army" by multiplying themselves many thousand-fold in process known as activation. Once their job is complete, T-cells are eliminated in a process known as apoptosis. While caspase-8 is largely recognized as a critical factor in this elimination process, this study produced a new finding: caspase-8 is also essential for the activation of T-cells at the start of the immune response.

"This research has helped us better understand how caspase-8 activates the immune system response by triggering T-cells to proliferate. When caspase-8 is inhibited, the immune response is significantly decreased," explains Dr. Razqallah Hakem, principal investigator AMDI/OCI and Assistant Professor in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto.



The research builds on findings published last fall in Nature, which revealed that caspase-8 mutations are linked to immunodeficiency in humans. But the in vivo role of caspase-8 has remained uncertain until now, because deleting the molecule is lethal to embryos-making it impossible to fully understand what happens to cells without the molecule.

Researchers overcame this hurdle by targeting and eliminating caspase-8 from specific organ tissues in mice, enabling them to see how these tissues are affected by the absence of caspase-8.

"The research we’ve done has created a unique model that we and other scientists can use to further study the role of caspase-8 in the immune response," reports AMDI researcher and lead author of the study, Leonardo Salmena, who is a PhD candidate in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto.

Understanding how caspase-8 operates in T-cell proliferation and activation is an important first step towards understanding immune system abnormalities and how these processes might be controlled to treat overactive immune systems. Researchers hope that continued research could impact therapies for autoimmune disorders such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Type I diabetes.


The research was supported by Amgen Incorporated, and by grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK
University Health Network is a major landmark in Canada’s health-care system, and a teaching partner of the University of Toronto. Building on the strengths and reputation of each of our three remarkable hospitals, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, UHN brings together the innovation, talent and resources needed to achieve global impact on the health care scene and provide exemplary patient care.

Kim Garwood | University of Toronto
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>