Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chronic Illness from Faulty Friends

16.12.2004


Immune cells can trigger severe pneumonia



A new study has found that malfunctioning immune cells can be the cause of severe pneumonia. This discovery was made by scientists working at the German Research Centre for Biotechnology (GBF) in Braunschweig. In the latest issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM), GBF researchers describe how mice in their experiments developed a tendency toward chronic inflammation of the lung’s mucous membrane. What they found was that immune cells of the type known as CD 4+T cells bring on such a disease when they inadvertently attack the body’s own tissue instead of the invading pathogen.

Diseases and disruptions to pulmonary alveoli and the lung, lymph and vascular tissues of the respiratory system are termed “Interstitial Lung Disease” (ILD) by the medical profession. Various forms of pneumonia are also classified under the ILD heading and can afflict mice as well as humans. The GBF research group led by Professor Jan Buer working together with colleagues from Yale University in the USA used these mice to prove something scientists had long suspected but until now had been unable to prove: that malfunctioning CD 4+T cells play an active role in the emergence of many forms of ILD.


A better understanding of immune reactions in the lung

“For our research we crossed two breeds of mice,” explains Dr. Dunja Bruder, a GBF researcher. “The first mouse type carried a special protein molecule in the cells of the lung mucous membrane, a so-called antigen,” says Bruder. “The second strain produced aggressive immune cells against exactly this antigen. The result is mice whose immune systems attack their own lung tissue.” These animals then developed ILD symptoms.

Shortly after the faulty immune reaction the coexistence of antigens and the opposing CD 4+ T cells triggered immune tolerance mechanisms: anti-inflammatory messenger substances were released and defensive responses were inhibited. “After a severe and acute outbreak of the illness, the symptoms dissipate suddenly and the illness turns into a chronic disease,” notes Bruder.

Through the study of how the chronic stages develop scientists hope to field a more comprehensive understanding of immune reactions in the lung. “Malfunctioning immune cells,” emphasises Buer, “play a role not only in ILD but also in many other lung diseases such as allergenic asthma. ”Very similar genes are turned on in the cells of sick mice as in sick humans, he says, “so if we understand these processes better we could develop new methods of treatment.”

Manfred Braun | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gbf.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht ‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>