Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neurons, smarter than believed

27.04.2006
The neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) are reported to have a previously unknown ability to regulate the immune system and suppress inflammatory conditions of the CNS.

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
Further information:
http://www.lu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What Makes Stem Cells into Perfect Allrounders
27.06.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement
26.06.2017 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>