There is currently no way to treat food allergy and the only way for sufferers to manage the problem is to avoid certain foods and make sure they have injectable adrenaline at hand.
The intimate interplay between two cell types of the immune system, dendritic cells (larger cells) and and T cells (white smaller surrounding cells) that play a central role in orchestrating finely balanced immune responses.
Scientists led by Dr Claudio Nicoletti at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich have found that a molecule called Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is absent during allergic responses. Dr Nicoletti suggests that by delivering an allergen in the presence of IL-12, allergic reactions could be brought back under control.
“A food protein can be perfectly harmless to one person and lethal to another, said Dr Nicoletti. “We have identified the missing molecule that normally keeps immune responses under control and appropriate.”
Having a food allergy means that the immune system responds to a food protein as if it was harmful. The immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, which normally help the body fight parasites. In the most severe cases individuals can suffer life-threatening reactions, including anaphylactic shock.
In previous research, Dr Nicoletti found that special types of white blood cells called dendritic cells are important in helping the immune system decide on how to respond to foreign molecules. In the latest research, Dr Nicoletti compared the activity of dendritic cells in the gut and in the spleen of allergic and allergy resistant mice. He found that in the gut of susceptible mice, dendritic cells have stopped producing IL-12.
This research was carried out in collaboration with the University of Siena.
“We have identified a molecule that is very important for the regulation of immune response and for the first time clearly represents a potential target for the therapy of allergy. This is currently under investigation”, said Dr Nicoletti.
David Reading, director of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said: “Food allergy can place an extremely heavy burden on the families affected. We welcome this research and look forward to further developments.”
Zoe Dunford | alfa
Signaling Pathways to the Nucleus
19.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one
19.03.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Information Technology
19.03.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research