This was published by scientists at Lund University in Sweden in an article in the journal of Nature Medicine. This pioneering discovery paves the way for future therapeutic targets for inflammatory and degenerative diseases of CNS like multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
It is generally known that motor neurons regulate basic functions like movement, learning, and memory. But Swedish scientists are now able to show that the neurons are also capable of combating CNS inflammation.
The role of neurons in the regulation of immune response in the CNS has been neglected as brain and spinal cord are well protected against immune cells surveillance by a tight barrier and because neurons do not express molecules known to be involved in immune response.
"Now, we show that motor neurons are capable of actively regulating immune response and indeed they have a central role in prevention of CNS inflammation", says Associate Professor Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas at Lund University.
In this report, Swedish scientists have demonstrated that neurons can transmit signals to harmful T cells (a type of white blood cells important for immune defense) in the brain. These signals cause these T cells to alter their function, transforming them from harmful to benign T cells that counteract inflammation and neuronal cell death.
Pathogenic T cells can enter the CNS because of several reasons such as during viral infection of CNS, as a result of mechanical damage to CNS or inflammatory diseases of CNS or autoimmune reactions, for example in case of MS (an inflammatory disease of CNS believed to be caused by autoimmune T cells). Inflammation is now implicated to be involved also in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The impetus for this research work came from previous observations made by Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas at the Karolinska Institute and at Harvard Medical School. There she found in different experimental conditions that neurons appeared to be able to secrete certain immunological proteins that could have potential to combat inflammations.
"These observations indicated that neurons could actually play a role in the regulation of the immune cells causing CNS inflammation. This was a new concept that had virtually been unexplored, since it was believed that neurons were mainly targets of inflammatory attack rather than active player in its regulation."
Dedicated work by a research team under supervision of Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas at Lund University in collaboration with Dr. Bryndis Birnir resulted in the current pioneering publication in the Nature Medicine.
According to Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas, their findings provide new knowledge about how chronic inflammation of the brain is regulated, and it could have implications for novel therapeutic approaches of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson and MS.
Ingela Björck | alfa
First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife
Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering