Natural compounds derived from a sea anemone extract and a shrub plant have been found to block the autoimmune disease response in type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of California, Irvine researchers.
The study shows both in human and animal tests how these compounds work to deter the effect of autoimmune T-cells, white blood cells that attack the body. The goal, according to UCI researchers, is to develop new treatments from these compounds that will target these destructive T-cells while allowing other white blood cells to fight disease and infection.
Study results appear Nov. 6-10 in the Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study, led by UC Irvine School of Medicine researchers George Chandy and Christine Beeton, identifies how these compounds work against a type of white blood cells called effector memory T lymphocytes, which play a major role in autoimmunity. Both compounds block an ion channel in these cells that prevents the cells from proliferating and producing chemicals called cytokines that attack the body during autoimmune disease states.
"Autoimmune diseases affect millions of Americans, and any new therapies that can aid them will have great significance," Chandy said. "What's promising about this study is that we identified a protein target on the T-cells that promote autoimmune activity and the compounds that can selectively block the target and shut down the destructive cells."
White blood cells patrol the body to fight against cancer and infections, but if some of these cells turn against the body they are meant to protect, they cause autoimmune diseases. Millions of people worldwide are afflicted with disabling autoimmune disorders. Two examples of this large class of diseases are type-1 diabetes, in which white blood cells attack the pancreas, and rheumatoid arthritis, in which the joints are attacked.
In their study, the UCI researchers used modified compounds derived from the rue plant (PAP-1) and a Cuban sea anemone extract (SL5), both of which block the ion channel in the destructive T-cells.
In one set of tests using blood samples from type-1 diabetes patients and joint fluid from people with rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers found that both compounds suppressed the function of the autoimmune T-cells without affecting other T-cells that fight infections.
In another set of tests using rats, the compound from the rue shrub plant delayed the onset and reduced the incidence of disease in diabetic rats, while the venom compound stopped the progression of the disease and improved the joint function of rats with experimental autoimmune arthritis. In these rat tests, the compounds were nontoxic.
The Chandy laboratory previously discovered that SL5 compound was effective in treating rats with an experimental model of multiple sclerosis, another devastating autoimmune disease. Preclinical safety studies on PAP-1 and SL5 are under way in collaboration with AIRMID, a biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"We began our work on these natural products many years ago when we came across a report that described the beneficial effect of a scorpion sting on a patient with multiple sclerosis," Beeton said. "This work also speaks to the importance of protecting our plant and animal biodiversity -- you never know where a new medicine will come from."
Heike Wulff from University of California, Davis is a co-lead author, and other authors from UCI, UC Davis, Johns Hopkins University, Bachem Biosciences and the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle are noted in the study text. The National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Arthritis National Research Foundation and David Israelsky provided support for this study.
About type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis: The American Diabetes Association estimates that type-1 diabetes mellitus, also known as juvenile diabetes, affects one in every 400 or 600 children and adolescents in the U.S. It is characterized by a destruction of the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Without enough insulin, the body cannot correctly regulate levels of blood glucose, a major source of energy for the body. Type-1 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve or kidney damage.
In rheumatoid arthritis, white blood cells induce inflammation in the joints, leading to muscle and joint aches, stiffness, and fatigue. According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women. An estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis. Some recent studies have suggested that the overall number of new cases of rheumatoid arthritis actually may be going down.
Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society
Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy